US EPA gears up for mercury lamp recycling programme

The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is seeking applications for the development and implementation of a mercury lamp recycling outreach programme.

In FY 2002 Congress appropriated funds to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the development and implementation of a lamp (light bulb) recycling outreach programme to increase awareness of proper disposal methods among commercial and industrial users of mercury-containing lamps, in compliance with the Universal Waste Rule.

The US EPA notes that mercury is a naturally occurring element commonly used by lamp manufacturers to increase the energy efficiency of the lamps they produce. Examples of these mercury-containing lamps include familiar varieties such as the fluorescent lamps commonly found in office buildings, high intensity discharge (HID) lamps, and mercury vapour lamps. While mercury is an essential component allowing lamps to operate more efficiently, it is also hazardous to humans and the environment, thus EPA categorises spent mercury-containing lamps as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

On July 6, 1999, mercury-containing lamps were added to EPA’s Universal Waste program. This programme, created in 1995, eases the regulatory burden on facilities that manage certain widely generated hazardous wastes, known as universal waste. The programme was designed to promote the collection and recycling of these wastes. It is important that mercury-containing wastes are properly managed since incorrect disposal of these wastes can seriously threaten the health of citizens, the environment, and wildlife. Repeated exposure to large amounts of mercury can cause kidney, and nerve damage in adults and children, and neurological damage in developing foetuses.

Unfortunately, many members of the industrial and commercial community do not realise that the lamps in their buildings pose such a threat, and they are unaware of acceptable methods for disposing of their lamps. As a result, illegal dumping of this hazardous waste is common. To address this issue, EPA’s Lamp Recycling Outreach Program was given funds to award to organizations creating and implementing outreach programs that educate the commercial community about the nature of mercury-containing lamps and their proper disposal.

At the end of FY 2002, EPA awarded approximately half of the available funds in cooperative agreements for the development of outreach materials and developing an outreach plan. Now the Agency is requesting applications for funding of the second phase of the programme, the implementation of outreach, utilizing the tools and materials developed under the first phase.

Specific materials which are to be developed in the first phase, and which will be available for use during the second phase are as follows:

printed collateral materials for use by government and business organizations about lamp recycling.

a searchable database of relevant state agency contacts involved with lamp recycling.

a`Frequently Asked Questions” sheet on mercury lamp management.

a CD-ROM with Power Point training presentations patterned after the training module produced for, with trainer notes regarding lamp recycling. With a booklet version of training module.

an electronic version of the DOE Rebuild America training that is interactive with state links.

a Business Lamp Recycling Program Implementation Guide that includes educational materials, handouts, and textual components for setting up a mercury lamp recycling program.

a presentation for a Business Lamp Recycling Program Implementation Workshop.

mailers and stickers (or POS materials) for use by local franchise agencies, SW companies, contractors and utilities.

public service announcements targeted at local areas and advertising copy for target media.

an advertisement to promote recycling and increase awareness of the la

Ano da Publicação: 2003
Fonte: WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #17-2003: May 16, 2003
Autor: Kit Strange
Email do Autor:

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