Partnership expands CFL bulb recycling
Sonoma and Napa counties announced on June 28 the launch of a new program with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) that will help support and expand residential recycling locations for spent fluorescent lamps, as well as build awareness of the need to recycle fluorescent lamps.
Building on the success of the City of Napa's Lighting Efficiency and Safe Stewardship ("LESS") fluorescent lamp collection program, Sonoma and Napa county residents can now more conveniently drop off their used fluorescent lamps at local businesses participating in the program. As part of the program, Napa county and Sonoma County Waste Management Agency (SCWMA) will work with PG&E to help maximize resources dedicated to building awareness about the need to recycle fluorescent lamps and expanding recycling infrastructure across the counties.
"Currently, the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency, through its ratepayers, spends more than $100,000 each month managing household hazardous waste generated by residents, and that number is growing," said Karina Chilcott SCWMA Waste Management Specialist.
Fluorescent lamps are today one of the most cost-effective methods available to decrease energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions. At the end of their life, disposal of fluorescent lamps presents a challenge as they contain trace amounts of toxic mercury vapors that should not be returned to landfill. It is important to properly dispose of fluorescent lamps at a participating drop-off location in order to mitigate the environmental impact.
"Spent fluorescent lamps require special handling, but are safe to use and are 99.9 percent recyclable when disposed of properly," said Steven Lederer, director of the Napa County Department of Environmental Management.
"PG&E's work with Napa and Sonoma counties demonstrates our efforts to improve energy efficiency," said Lisa McNally, senior program manager of green communities for PG&E.
Funds from this new program will recruit at least 10 new locations for residential drop-off. For current locations, visit recyclenow.org/toxics/fluorescent.