Department of Ecology News Release - March 10, 2016

One million lights recycled through LightRecycle
New program collects CFLs and other mercury-containing lights

OLYMPIA – Washingtonians have recycled more than one million fluorescent tubes, CFLs, HID lamps and other mercury-containing lights since the new LightRecycle Washington program launched Jan. 1, 2015.

The LightRecycle program allows individuals and businesses to recycle up to 10 fluorescent lights or CFLs per day at over 220 collection sites throughout the state. To find a site near you, go to LightRecycle.org and enter your city or ZIP code.

Fluorescents and some other types of lights contain small amounts of mercury, a toxic heavy metal. Recycling these lights keeps mercury out of the environment. In 2015, LightRecycle topped its annual goal by 4 percent, recycling 989,034 lights, then surpassed 1 million lights in January 2016.

“People in Washington got the LightRecycle program off to a strong start, but there are a lot of mercury-containing lights still out there,” said Peter Thermos, program manager for LightRecycle Washington. “We’ll keep looking for ways to expand the program and let people know that it’s important to properly recycle fluorescent lights.”

According to a 2015 survey commissioned by LightRecycle, only about half of people in Washington know that fluorescent lights and CFLs contain mercury. Although individual lights only have a small amount of mercury, the millions of lights used in Washington have the potential to harm the environment if not properly recycled.

LightRecycle Washington is a product stewardship program, meaning that manufacturers set up a system to manage their products at the end of their useful life. LightRecycle is run by PCA Product Stewardship, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and overseen by the Washington Department of Ecology, which administers the state’s mercury lights law. Visit LightRecycle.org for more information.

Contact:

Andrew Wineke, communications, 360-407-6149, @ecologyWA