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Details of compact fluorescent lamps program discussed at meeting

The Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) met with local retailers to discuss how  (CFL) should be distributed, collected, stored and recycled.

The meeting was held on November 10 with retailers such as Kelly’s, Robin Hood, Super Value and Eagle Electric at DEHS headquarters on Farrington Road.

“We have 270,000 bulbs that were distributed and we must develop a disposal program.  The distribution of CFLs really and truly underscores the government’s commitment to the development and implementation of a National Energy Policy (NEP),” said Zendal Forbes, NEP project manager.

“The policy says that the government wants – by the year 2030 – 30 percent of the energy use to come from renewable energy and also want a 30 percent reduction in energy use.  The CFLs must be disposed of in the proper manner.”

Forbes said that since distributing CFLs in May, there has been a myth floating around that they are not safe.

He said that CFLs are safe, despite containing a small bit of mercury.

Given the hazardous nature of mercury, Forbes said it is important to manage the risk.

“For this reason, we want to adapt this disposal program,” he said.

“In organizing the (distribution of) CFLs, the Ministry of the Environment, through the Department of Environmental Health Services, will organize an information seminar for individuals who will be engaged in the collection and storage of the CFLs.

“Since these bulbs will be shipped to the United States for recycling, there are some limitations on the time from collection to when they are actually disposed of.  This program is concerned about the compact bulbs, but we can get larger sized bags to accommodate different-sized fluorescent lights,” Forbes said.

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