The U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce (USGCC) is encouraging local small business to take advantage of the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health’s fluorescent light recycling program, which offers small businesses the opportunity to recycle fluorescent lamps (tubes and bulbs) at no cost.
Generally fluorescent lamps are four to five times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, but need to be recycled because of small traces of mercury contained in each bulb. While lamps are not a major source of mercury pollution, throwing them into a dumpster is more likely to result in the bulb being broken and mercury being released into the environment.
“Back in 2004, California passed a state law that required everyone to recycle their fluorescent lights, which can cost small businesses hundreds of dollars a year,” said USGCC CEO David Steel.
“Businesses have long been using prepaid mailing containers from lamp recyclers, universal waste handlers (e.g., storage facility, broker) or authorized recycling facilities,” said Steel. “So, to have a program that provides some financial relief to those small businesses still trying to bounce back from the unavoidable effects of an economic downturn – we welcome it.”
To participate, businesses can simply fax or mail in a request form available at www.sdhhw.org under “universal waste.”
Once the request is processed, businesses will receive pre-postage paid kits that can be filled and shipped directly to a recycler for proper management. Businesses can request a maximum of four kits (accommodating up to 200 lamps depending on size and type) while supplies last.
“I would encourage all eligible businesses in San Diego County to take advantage of this opportunity before funding for the program runs out in 2012.”said Steel.