Maine governor John Baldacci signed a first-in-the-nation law requiring manufacturers of compact fluorescent light bulbs containing toxic mercury to share in the cost of proper disposal
Legislative Directive 973 goes into effect September 12 and requires manufacturers to pay for the collection and recyling of bulbs, rather than taxpayers. Manufacturers must submit recycling plans by 2010 and begin collection by 2011.
California, Vermont and Massachusetts all have similar bills pending and are expected to follow Maine's lead.
Maine's new law also sets a limit for mercury content in all lighting, and improves the state’s procurement policy for the purchase of fluorescent lighting with low mercury content.
Michael Bender, policy project director for the Mercury Policy Project, released the following statement: “Passage of this law sends a clear message out nationally (and globally) that a new day is dawning for total life cycle management and shared responsibility–from ‘the cradle to the grave’ for products containing mercury and other hazardous substances.”
Texas on the Other Hand...
Texas Governor Rick Perry vetoed legislation that would have required television manufacturers to fund a collection and recycling program for old units.
Perry said House Bill No. 821 would have imposed "onerous new mandates, fees and regulations at the expense of manufacturers, retailers and recyclers.
Perry said he prefers the model set by the state's computer recycling law, which provides incentives for manufacturers rather than mandating a program.