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[GreenYes] Re: Take Back Program for household fluorescents

Hi Alan ~
We don't know what the percentage of discarded lamps the 18,000 bulbs represents. I am actually surprised that the number is this high, since most are CFLs, which have not been on the market for very long and have a long life.
The number could include some non-household lamps, but it should be low. Non-household are prohibited by law from landfilling them and we have at least four very active recycling firms that directly work with non-household users to take back their lamps, which are often tubes vs CFLs.
Best wishes,
-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Muller [mailto:amuller@no.address]
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 2:04 PM
To: Reindl, John; RicAnthony@no.address; GreenYes@no.address
Subject: Re: [SPAM] [GreenYes] Re: Take Back Program" for household batteries, fluorescent tubes and bulbs

At 12:59 PM 6/27/2007 -0500, Reindl, John wrote:
While I congratulate San Luis Obispo County for providing this take back program, it seems to me that that it is setting a bad precedent in having government pay for the handling of the material, rather than incorporating this cost into the price of the product.
Our own county has had ordinances requiring retailer take back on a variety of products (auto tires, vehicle batteries, fluorescents and thermostats) for a number of years, and the costs are not subsidized by local government. As an example of results, last year some 18,000 fluorescents were collected from households in a county with a population of 450,000.

John: (1)  What percentage of discarded fluorescents do you think the 18,000 is?  (2) Does the takeback apply to wholesale distributors and commercial use?  (For instance, lamps used in schools, warehouses and stores....?


Alan Muller

John Reindl
Dane County, WI
-----Original Message-----
From: GreenYes@no.address [ mailto:GreenYes@no.address]On Behalf Of RicAnthony@no.address
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 12:44 PM
To: GreenYes@no.address; gaia-members@no.address
Cc: zwia@no.address; maxine@no.address
Subject: [GreenYes] Take Back Program" for household batteries, fluorescent tubes and bulbs

 Press Release - For Immediate Release
June 26, 2007, San Luis Obispo County, California
BY: Bill Worrell, IWMA

The San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA)
announces the implementation of the "SLO Take Back Program" for household
batteries, fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
Nearly every retailer throughout San Luis Obispo County who sells household
batteries or fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) will now
take those items back from the public for free. Consumers who want to shop
green can now safely and easily recycle these products.

More than 300 local businesses are providing this free service to the
public. Participants range from national chain stores such as Costco and
Kmart to local stores such as Farris Lighting. Nearly every retailer who
sells either batteries or fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent light
bulbs (CFLs) in San Luis Obispo County is participating. A few stores, such
as Home Depot and Target, are not participating in the program. A complete
list of businesses where you can safely recycle these items is available on
the IWMA website (

For the public, participating in the "SLO Take Back Program" is free and
easy. Bring your household batteries, fluorescent tubes and compact
fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) to any of the participating retail stores during
regular store hours. You can either put the items in a special collection
container or give them to a store employee. This is an ongoing, free service
provided to the public. Businesses can also participate by calling
805-481-9213 to make an appointment.

The household batteries should be fully discharged. Lithium batteries should
have tape placed on the metal contacts. Fluorescent tubes and compact
fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) should not be broken and should be carefully placed
in the collection containers to prevent breakage.

Household batteries, fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs)
are considered hazardous because they contain mercury. It's illegal to throw
away these items in your garbage or recycling can, or to dispose of them at
a landfill. You can be confident that disposing of these items at the "SLO
Take Back Program" locations will mean the items will be sent off to be
properly managed which includes recovering the mercury.

The "SLO Take Back Program" is funded by a grant from the California
Integrated Waste Management Board.

Bill Worrell
870 Osos Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

San Diego, California

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