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[greenyes] Mercury in the waste stream: Targeting fluorescent lamps

We have identified Mercury as a pollutant of concern in our community. Having reviewed other municipal surveys on the impacts of Mercury, we have discovered that 35-40% of the Mercury entering our environment comes from solid waste disposal (e.g. fluorescent lamps, thermostats, etc.).

The question is - how do you get residents and conditionally exempt small quantity generators to properly dispose of fluorescent lamps? How do you get CESQGs to pay for disposal (approximately $0.15/ft)?

Does anyone have a program out there targeting these audiences? Successful efforts to get businesses to stop smashing the tubes in their dumpsters? And creative financing going on that helps offset or discount the cost of disposal?

I'd be interested to hear about any achievements you have made on this front.


Megan Kershner
Boise, Idaho

Background: The City of Boise provides free HHW disposal to residents of the community. Estimates show that 500-600,000 fluorescent lamps are disposed of annually in Boise -- 90% from industrial/commercial sources. Approximately 1500 residential lamps and 160,000 industrial/commercial lamps are recycled annually. Hazardous wastes, including fluorescent lamps, are prohibited from entering the local landfill as defined by county and city ordinance.

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