Mercury Lights photo identifier

Mercury Lights


Retailers, wholesalers, and distributors

How do I know if the bulbs I purchase are compliant with program requirements?
Product wholesalers, retailers, distributors, and electric utilities must check Ecology's List of Producers of Mercury Lights in compliance with the program requirements to ensure that they only purchase lights from compliant producers. Mercury-containing lights from non-compliant producers may not be distributed, sold, or offered for sale for residential use in Washington

How can my facility become a collection site for the LightRecycle program?
If you are interested in becoming a collector, contact LightRecycle Washington's Peter Thermos at 206-850-7383 or peter@LightRecycleWA.org.

How was the Environmental Handling Charge determined?
The Mercury-Containing Lights Law (RCW 70.275) requires producers to finance the stewardship program through an environmental handling charge added to all mercury-containing lights sold at retail locations in the state. The handling charge covers the cost to recycle all lights collected by the program. The mercury light producers selected PCA Product Stewardship Inc. (PCA) as the program operator for LightRecycle Washington.

On February 28, 2017, PCA recommended an Environmental Handling Charge of 50 cents be applied to each mercury-containing light sold at retail in or into Washington State. Ecology reviewed background materials provided by PCA for this purpose, including a detailed budget review along with a review of an Overview and Assumptions Document. Ecology sent a letter to PCA on April 3, 2017 approving the 50-cent charge. The new charge is effective July 1, 2017.


Producers

Does Washington consider my company a mercury-containing light producer?
For the purposes of this program, the producer of mercury-containing lights sold in or into Washington State includes a person or entity that:
  1. Has or had legal ownership of the brand, brand name or co-brand of a mercury-containing light sold in or into the state unless the brand owner is a retailer whose mercury-containing light was supplied by another producer participating in a stewardship program,
  2. Imports or imported mercury-containing lights branded by a producer that meets the requirements of item (1.) and has no physical presence in the U.S.,
  3. Makes or made a mercury-containing light sold in or into the state, or
  4. Sells or sold a mercury-containing light at wholesale or retail, does not legally own the brand, and elects to fulfill the producer responsibilities.
Ecology maintains a List of Producers of Mercury Lights.

What are my responsibilities as a producer of mercury-containing lights?
Every producer of mercury-containing lights sold in or into Washington State for retail sale must:
  • Participate in an approved product stewardship program operated by a stewardship organization.
  • Assist the stewardship organization in determining the recommended environmental handling charge.
  • Add the approved environmental handling charge to the purchase price of all mercury-containing lights sold at retail.
  • Remit the environmental handling charges to the stewardship organization. For guidance, refer to the Environmental Handling Charge Application Scenarios.
  • Assist the stewardship organization with implementation of the product stewardship program.
  • On June 1, 2016 and each year thereafter, each producer must ensure that the stewardship organization (PCA) submits an annual report for the prior calendar year to Ecology.
  • For guidance on Sales of Mercury-Containing Lights refer to the Ecology QA - Sales of Mercury-Containing Lights.
  • For guidance on the B&O Tax and Sales of Mercury-Containing Lights refer to the Dept. of Revenue Special Notice.
How can I be informed of changes to the mercury lights product stewardship program?
Sign up on the program listserv to receive program updates.

Where can I find more information on the mercury containing lights product stewardship program plan?
The Updated Washington State Mercury-Containing Lights Product Stewardship Plan was approved by Ecology on January 1, 2017.
For questions please contact Joanne Neugebauer-Rex at 360-407-7602 or jneu461@ecy.wa.gov.

What regulations govern the mercury containing lights product stewardship program?

Utilities and local governments

How does the mercury-containing lights recycling program affect utilities and local governments?
Mercury-Containing Lights - proper disposal (Chapter 70.275 RCW), establishes a producer-financed product stewardship program for the collection, recycling, and disposal of mercury-containing lights. In March 2014, the law was amended to require the producers to finance the stewardship program through an environmental handling charge added to all mercury-containing lights sold at retail in the state. LightRecycle Washington is in operation as of Jan. 1, 2015.

Some utilities already offer fluorescent light recycling programs and many local governments collect mercury containing lights in their household hazardous waste programs. This product stewardship program should help reduce their costs for managing this waste stream. How can my facility become a collection site for the LightRecycle program?
If you are interested in becoming a collector, contact Peter Thermos at 206-850-7383 or peter@LightRecycleWA.org.


More information

For questions about the Mercury-Containing Lights Product Stewardship Program, please contact:

Joanne Neugebauer-Rex
jneu461@ecy.wa.gov
360-407-7602
Washington State Department of Ecology, Attn: Joanne Neugebauer-Rex
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600