Mercury Lamps Bill Passes Senate

On Thursday, the Senate gave final approval to a bill that requires manufacturers of mercury-containing lamps to establish and finance a free and convenient recycling program for their spent bulbs from residents and small businesses.  Pending the Governor’s approval, Vermont will become the third state in the country to establish such a program.

Mercury-containing lamps, such as compact fluorescent bulbs, have significant benefits in terms of energy efficiency, and environmental organizations support and even encourage their continued use.  However, these bulbs also contain small amounts of mercury – a known neurotoxin – which makes properly disposing of the lamps critically important.

“This bill will not only keep toxic mercury out of our environment, but it ensures that manufacturers also contribute to the growing costs of recycling these bulbs,” said Charity Carbine, Environmental Health Advocate for Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG).  “Our legislators deserve praise for their commitment to this bright idea.”

The bill now moves to the Govenor for his signature.