Showing posts with label Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fluorescent Lamps and Tubes Should Be Recycled

All Fluorescent Lamps and Tubes Should Be Recycled or Disposed as Hazardous Waste

All fluorescent lamps and tubes are considered hazardous waste in California when they are discarded because they contain mercury. (Title 22, division 4.5, chapter 11, section 66261.50) This includes:
Fluorescent lamps and tubes:
  • Fluorescent tubes, including low mercury tubes.
  • Compact fluorescents, including low mercury lamps.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps:
  • Metal halide lamps, such as floodlights for  large indoor and outdoor areas and gymnasiums.
  • Sodium lamps, such as those sometimes used as security lighting and outdoor floodlights.
  • Mercury vapor lamps, such as those sometimes used for street lighting.
All fluorescent lamps and tubes must be recycled, or taken to a household hazardous waste disposal facility, a universal waste handler (e.g., storage facility or broker), or an authorized recycling facility. (Title 22, division 4.5, chapter 23, section 66273.8) (The law requiring that fluorescent lamps be recycled or taken to a household hazardous waste disposal facility, a universal waste handler, or an authorized recycling facility has been in effect since February 9, 2006.)
See a list of all wastes banned from the trash.
When mercury-containing lamps or tubes are placed in the trash and collected for disposal, the lamps or tubes are broken and mercury is released to the environment. Mercury vapors from broken lamps or tubes can be absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream. People who are particularly close to the breakage are especially at risk. Mercury from broken lamps and tubes can also be washed by rain water into waterways.
According to a report entitled, Household Universal Waste Generation in California, August 2002, there were 15,555,556 fluorescent lamps sold in California in the year 2001. According to survey results published in the report, only 0.21% of these lamps were recycled.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Crash in trash creates mountains of unwanted recyclables

American towns are being forced to abandon recycling their household waste after the global economic downturn has crashed the once profitable market for "trash".

By Philip Sherwell in New York

Financial crisis is rubbish for trash

Mountains of used plastics, paper, metals and cardboard are piling up in the warehouses and yards of recycling companies across the US. Some contractors are negotiating to rent old military hangars and abandoned railway depots because they have run out of storage space for the glut of suddenly unwanted rubbish.

The collapse in the recycling market is a direct by-product of the financial crisis, as demand has slumped for material to be converted into everything from boxes for electronics to car parts and house fittings.

Householders have long been able to feel virtuous about their impact on the environment by sorting out their rubbish each week. But now the great trash market crash has even raised the environmentally alarming spectre that some waste intended for recycling may end up in landfills.

"The crash is all the more dramatic because as recently as mid-October the prices for recyclables stood at record highs," said Bruce Parker, president of the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA).

Newsprint is now fetching less than $60 (£40) a ton, down from $160; corrugated boxing has slumped from $50 a ton to $10; while tin fetches $5 a pound compared to about $25.

Other materials are performing even worse, Mr Parker said. His members are now having to pay for the removal of low-grade mixed paper that two months ago was bringing in $120 a ton. "And plastics, you cannot even give them away," he added with a sigh.

The previous surge in prices had largely been driven by soaring demand from China and India. The emerging economic powerhouses were swallowing up rubbish as soon Americans were discarding it - often to turn into goods and packing that were then sold back to the US.

But the demand from Asia has now collapsed as the economic crisis has spread around the globe. "We truly live in a global economy where what happens at one end of the earth directly affects business at the other end," said Mr Parker.

The impact is devastating commercially - and not just for recycling businesses. Already confronting crippling budget shortfalls, local and state authorities have now seen a lucrative source of income dry up as recycling centres are no longer paying for their rubbish.

Some towns have even suspended their recycling operations, although in much of the country those programmes are required by law.

Residents in West Virginia's Kanawha county, which includes the state capital Charleston, have been told to stockpile plastics and metals, the materials worst hit by the crash, as they will no longer be collected. Small towns with tight budgets are particularly badly affected – Frackville in Pennsylvania has recently suspended its recycling programme.

The collapse has even hit the nation's most prestigious academic institutions. Harvard University used to receive $10 a ton for mixed recyclables from a nearby centre, but last month was told that it would have to start paying $20 a ton to send students' discarded newspapers and empty bottles there.

"I have been in the recycling business for 30 years and never seen a time as bad as this," said Johnny Gold, senior vice-president of the Newark Group, one of America's biggest recycling companies.

"It's a combination of the economic collapse and Chinese over-capacity.

"Our industry is a textbook case of supply and demand. We sell our product to paper mills that make boxes to supply companies making goods and if those goods are not selling, then they don't need the boxes and they don't buy our product."

Mr Parker believes that the market may not bounce back until late 2010 - and by then the mountains of unwanted rubbish would have turned into major mountain ranges. The NSWMA argues that to handle the crisis, the US will have to step up investment in its own recycling mills to fill the gap left by Asia and that contractors may have to impose recycling surcharges.

"It may cost communities more in the meantime but from an environmental point of views, the savings in terms of reducing greenhouse emissions and other benefits are still much greater," he said.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

7 Executive Orders President Obama Should Sign to Protect the Environment

At the time of this writing, Barack Obama has been president-elect for less than a week and no one is wasting any time in making suggestions for actions he should take once he’s President Obama. The Center for Progressive Reform passed on their suggestions for 7 Executive Orders for the President’s First 100 Days and so I pass them on to you to debate, discuss and otherwise armchair analyze.

They cover a range of perennial issues familiar to TreeHugger readers—Climate change, chemicals in products intended for children, pollution, preserving ecosystems on public lands. Here they are:

1. Reduce the Federal Carbon Footprint

The new President should issue an Executive Order requiring each federal agency to measure, report, and reduce its carbon footprint. Not only would the Executive Order have a meaningful impact on the federal government's carbon emissions, it could also lead to the creation of uniform, practical standards for measuring such footprints, standards that could be applied government-wide and beyond. Each of the provisions of this proposed Order is consistent with the goals of the National Environmental Policy Act.

2. Consider Climate Change in All Decisions

The next President should issue a new Executive Order clarifying that all federal agencies are obligated to consider the global climate change-related implications of their actions. This proposed Order is consistent with the goals of the National Environmental Policy Act.

3. Protect Children from Chemicals

The next President should amend Executive Order 13045 (issued initially by President
Clinton and then amended by President Bush) to mandate that agencies establish an affirmative agenda for protecting children from lead, mercury, perchlorate, phthalates, fine particulate matter, ozone, and pesticides; require the reform of risk assessment policy so that children are accounted for as a vulnerable group; and end the use of discounting the value of children's lives in cost-benefit analysis. As is the case with the provisions of the existing Order on Protecting Children, each of these recommendations is consistent with the goals of the various environmental, safety, and public health statutes.

4. Environmental Justice

The next President should amend or replace the original Executive Order [12898] on Environmental Justice. The new Order should require a meaningful analysis of the environmental justice impacts and implications of all major new rules; impose on agencies a substantive obligation to take affirmative steps to ameliorate environmental injustice; launch an affirmative Environmental Justice agenda; hold agencies accountable for carrying out their environmental justice obligations; and clarify key terms from the current Order, including “environmental justice communities” and “subsistence,” to avoid the kind of narrow interpretation of the terms applied by the Bush Administration. As is the case with the existing Executive Order on Environmental Justice, these recommendations are consistent with the goals of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

5. Transparent Regulatory Review

The new President should issue an Executive Order restoring open government in three areas where unwarranted secrecy has developed. The Order should restore the presumption of disclosure concerning exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) so that political appointees and career government employees cannot operate free of scrutiny; forbid agencies from taking advantage of loopholes that limit the transparency provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) so that the public can be assured that special interests do not have undue influence on agency decision making; and improve the transparency of regulatory review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
(OIRA) so that efforts by political appointees in the White House to override the judgment of scientists and other experts in regulatory agencies can at least be transparent to the public. All of the proposed Order's provisions are consistent with the goals of FOIA and FACA.

6. Protect Stronger State Laws from Weaker Federal Ones
CPR points out that the Bush Administration often preempted stronger state laws on environmental regulation with weaker federal ones,

The next President should [...] should amend the existing Executive Order on Federalism to strengthen provisions setting forth a presumption against preemption; require agencies to provide a written justification for preemption; and require that, when a federal statute allows states to adopt more stringent standards or seek a waiver of statutory preemption (as in EPA's denial of California's Clean Air Act waiver), agencies must provide a written justification to the White House before denying the state's regulatory authority or waiver request. As is the case with the existing Executive Order on Federalism, these recommendations are consistent with the goals of the various statutes under which the environmental, safety, and public health agencies operate, including the National Environmental Policy Act.

7. Promoting Ecological Integrity

The next President should issue a new Executive Order declaring a national policy of
promoting ecological integrity as a baseline requirement for sustainable public land use. The President should also revoke two Bush Administration Executive Orders issued in 2005 (Executive Orders 13211 and 13212) that made it easier to develop energy resources on public lands, even at the risk of causing long-term degradation of natural resource values. In addition, the President should amend a third Bush Order (Executive Order 13443) by providing equal opportunities for public participation in federal land use decision making to a wide variety of constituencies, in addition to those promoting hunting. All of these measures are consistent with the goals of the various public lands statutes.

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles