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[GreenYes] Re: FW: GE talking w/Congress about lamp recycling


Thanks for forwarding this John.

Go to 18seconds.org <http://18seconds.org> and type in your zip code to
give you an idea how many CFLs have been sold in your area since 1/1/07.

I think Wal-Mart played a key role in putting this Web-site together
based on comments made by Andy Ruben (VP Strategy and Sustainability at
Wal-Mart) at local presentation recently.

Stephan



Reindl, John wrote:

> FYI; a good way to get toxics out of the waste stream...
>
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* Hg-Info@no.address [mailto:Hg-Info@no.address]*On
> Behalf Of *mercurypolicy@no.address
> *Sent:* Friday, February 16, 2007 5:04 AM
> *To:* mwg-mercury@no.address; Hg-Info@no.address
>
> "General Electric has been making compact fluorescents for 20 years.
> Now the company admits that the little bit of mercury in each bulbs
> could become a real problem if sales balloon as expected.
>
>
> "Given what we anticipate to be the significant increase in the use of
> these products, we are now beginning to look at, and shortly we'll be
> discussing with legislators, possibly a national solution here," says
> Earl Jones, a senior counsel for General Electric.
>
> In fact, Jones said he was having his first talks with congressional
> staffers on Thursday."
>
> See complete story below.
>
> Michael
>
> National Public Radio
> Environment
>
>
> CFL Bulbs Have One Hitch: Toxic Mercury
>
> Listen to this story... by Elizabeth Shogren
> <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4566209>
>
>
> CFL bulb
> iStockphoto.com
>
>
>
>
>
> Tips & Advice
>
> * General Electric: FAQs on Mercury & Compact Fluorescent Light
> Bulbs
> <http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/ask_us/faq_compact.htm#mercury>
>
> * Fact Sheet: Mercury in CFL Bulbs
> <http://www.nema.org/lamprecycle/epafactsheet-cfl.pdf>(Requires
> Adobe Acrobat
> <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html>)
> * Energy Star: FAQs on Disposing of CFL Bulbs
> <http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/promotions/change_light/downloads/Fact_Sheet_Mercury.pdf>(Requires
> Adobe Acrobat
> <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html>)
>
>
>
>
>
>
> In Depth
>
> *Scroll down*
> <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198#7282810>
> to read advice from the EPA and Energy Department on what to look for
> in a CFL -- and get a home energy calculator.
>
>
>
>
> /All Things Considered
> <http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=2>, /February
> 15, 2007 · The Environmental Protection Agency and some large
> business, including Wal-Mart, are aggressively promoting the sale of
> compact fluorescent light bulbs as a way to save energy and fight
> global warming. They want Americans to buy many millions of them over
> the coming years.
>
> But the bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin, and the
> companies and federal government haven't come up with effective ways
> to get Americans to recycle them.
>
> "The problem with the bulbs is that they'll break before they get to
> the landfill. They'll break in containers, or they'll break in a
> dumpster or they'll break in the trucks. Workers may be exposed to
> very high levels of mercury when that happens," says John Skinner,
> executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America,
> the trade group for the people who handle trash and recycling.
>
> Skinner says when bulbs break near homes, they can contaminate the soil.
>
> Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, and it's especially dangerous for
> children and fetuses. Most exposure to mercury comes from eating fish
> contaminated with mercury,
>
> Some states, cities and counties have outlawed putting CFL bulbs in
> the trash, but in most state the practice is legal.
>
> Pete Keller works for Eco Lights Northwest, the only company in
> Washington State that recycles fluorescent lamps. He says it is
> illegal to put the bulbs in the trash in some counties in Washington,
> but most people still throw them out.
>
> "I think most people do want to recycle, but if it's not made easy, it
> doesn't happen," Keller says. "And they're small enough to fit in a
> trash can. So by nature, I think most people are not recyclers. So if
> it's small enough to fit in a trash can, that's where it ends up."
>
> Experts agree that it's not easy for most people to recycle these
> bulbs. Even cities that have curbside recycling won't take the bulbs.
> So people have to take them to a hazardous-waste collection day or a
> special facility.
>
> The head of the Environmental Protection Agency program concedes that
> not enough has been done to urge people to recycle CFL bulbs and make
> it easier for them to do so.
>
> "I share your frustration that there isn't a national infrastructure
> for the proper recycling of this product," says Wendy Reed, who
> manages EPA's Energy Star program. That programs gives the compact
> bulbs its "energy star" seal of approval.
>
> She says that even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, using
> them contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular
> incandescent bulbs. That's because they use less electricity -- and
> coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in
> the air.
>
> "The compact fluorescent light bulb is a product people can use to
> positively influence the environment to... prevent mercury emissions
> as well as greenhouse gas emissions. And it's something that we can do
> now -- and it's extremely important that we do do it," Reed says. "And
> the positive message is, if you recycle them, if you dispose of them
> properly, then they're doing a world of good."
>
> Reed says the agency has been urging stores that sell the bulbs to
> help recycle them.
>
> "EPA is actively engaged with trying to find a solution that works for
> these retailers around recycling the product, because it's really,
> really important," Reed says.
>
> But so far, she says the biggest sellers of the bulbs haven't stepped
> up to the plate.
>
> "The only retailer that I know of that is recycling is IKEA," she
> says, referring to the Swedish-owned furniture chain store.
>
> Reed says the EPA has been prodding other retailers, such as Wal-Mart,
> to do more.
>
> "We are working with Wal-Mart on it, we are making some progress. But
> no commitments have been made on the part of Wal-Mart," she says.
>
> Wal-Mart didn't respond to requests for a comment on the issue.
>
> EPA also has asked retailers to sell the lower mercury compact bulbs
> that some manufacturers are making. Engineers say you can't cut
> mercury out completely.
>
> Some other big companies have started paying attention to the
> recycling problem.
>
> General Electric has been making compact fluorescents for 20 years.
> Now the company admits that the little bit of mercury in each bulbs
> could become a real problem if sales balloon as expected.
>
> "Given what we anticipate to be the significant increase in the use of
> these products, we are now beginning to look at, and shortly we'll be
> discussing with legislators, possibly a national solution here," says
> Earl Jones, a senior counsel for General Electric.
>
> In fact, Jones said he was having his first talks with congressional
> staffers on Thursday.
>
>
> Why Use a CFL?
>
> /NPR.org <http://www.npr.org/>, /February 8, 2007 · According to the
> federal government, if every American home replaced just one light
> bulb with an Energy Star approved compact fluorescent bulb (CFL), the
> United States would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million
> homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the
> emissions of nearly 800,000 cars.
>
> Energy Star is a joint project with the Environmental Protection
> Agency and the Department of Energy that promotes energy efficient -
> and thus climate-friendly - products.
>
> But not all CFLs are created equal. Here, some tips from Energy Star
> about what to look for and where to use a CFL:
>
> *The Benefits *
>
> -- Energy Star qualified CFLs use at least two-thirds less energy than
> standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer (average
> lifespan of a CFL is five years).
>
> -- CFLs save $30 or more in energy costs over each bulb's lifetime.
>
> -- CFLs generate 70 percent less heat, making them safer to operate.
>
> *Where to Use*
>
> -- To get the most energy savings, replace bulbs where lights are on
> the most, such as the family and living rooms, kitchen, dining room
> and porch.
>
> -- Install them in hard to reach fixtures, like ceiling fans.
>
> -- Make sure the CFL matches the right fixture by reading any
> restrictions on the package. Some CFLs work with dimmers, others are
> specially made for recessed or enclosed fixtures.
>
> *Myths*
>
> -- CFLs have a harsh, cold light quality. Increasingly, this is less
> of an issue. Over the past few years, manufacturers have worked to
> provide a warmer color. Some people say they still notice a
> difference, but the gap is narrowing. For a warmer, white light, look
> for a color temperature of 2,700-3,000K on the package.
>
> -- CFLs aren't for bathrooms. Not necessarily. CFLs can work in
> bathrooms, but humidity may shorten the bulb's life.
>
> -- CFLs can't be used in older houses. In fact, CFLs may work better
> than incandescent bulbs in houses with older wiring; CFLs generate
> less heat and draw less electrical current.
>
>
>
>
>
> Related NPR Stories
>
> *
> Feb. 15, 2007
> Letters: Zarif, the Dentist's Chair, and CFL Bulbs
> <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431195>
>
> http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198
> <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7431198>
>
> Michael Bender, Director
> Mercury Policy Project/
> Zero Mercury Working Group
> 1420 North Street
> Montpelier, VT USA 05602
> www.mercurypolicy.org <http://www.mercurypolicy.org/>
> www.zeromercury.org <http://www.zeromercury.org/>
> Tel: +802-223-9000
>
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