In late June, Maine became the first state to require manufacturers to establish recycling programs for compact fluorescent light bulbs containing mercury. The new law, titled “An Act To Provide for the Safe Collection and Recycling of Mercury-containing Lighting,” will go into effect on September 12, 2009.
Starting on January 1, 2011, all domestic manufacturers or importers of light bulbs containing mercury must implement a state-approved recycling program. As part of the program, the manufacturer must establish collection centers to accept used bulbs from consumers at no cost. Also under the new law, manufacturers must also meet California mercury standards for lamps by 2012.