Recycling programs for CFL bulbs not adequate, critics say
Sudbury sales manager Larry Paquette says the move to ban incandescent bulbs in Canada doesn’t leave consumers with enough options.
Paquette, who’s been selling lights in Sudbury for more than 15 years, said he'll be selling a lot more compact fluorescent lights — but he doesn’t consider them to be a great alternative.
The mercury certainly is a concern,” he said. “And they don't hold out as well as they should.”
As of January first, 75 watt and 100 watt incandescent bulbs are banned by the federal government.
But there aren't sufficient programs to deal with recycling the replacements, said the executive director of the Recycling Council of Ontario.
“There is no requirement for industry, for retailers that sell them, or manufacturers, to collect. There's no requirement for them to do so,” Jo-Anne St. Godard said.
“I think what happened here is you're seeing the federal government lay an environmental policy without talking to the provinces in terms of what that means for waste management. So there's a disconnect. And I think they're catching up to that issue right now.”
Godard’s group administers a provincial fund given to municipalities that collect CFL bulbs from residences.
“The city of Greater Sudbury does recycle the CFL bulbs, as does North Bay,” she said.
In Sudbury, bulbs can be dropped off at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot.
However St. Godard said more than 80 per cent of mercury-containing lamps sold in Ontario are used in industry and commercial buildings — not in houses.