State program to recycle bulbs with mercury

OLYMPIA — Washington consumers soon will be able to recycle compact fluorescent bulbs and other lights that contain mercury at no cost.

A state law passed in 2010 called for a program to collect, transport and recycle residential lights containing mercury starting Jan. 1. That law will also make it illegal for people to discard burnt-out fluorescent bulbs in the trash starting next year.

The recycling program will be paid for by producers of lights that contain mercury.

State regulators said broken fluorescent lights expose workers, residents and children to toxic mercury vapors. Mercury poses a threat to public health.

The Department of Ecology recently adopted a rule to carry out the law.

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