As California Goes, So Goes…

No one. A year after California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards became effective, take a look at the selection of fluorescent lights available at Home Depot and Lowes. Even if you wanted to buy a fluorescent light, there’s almost no selection to pick from. I think the folks in Sacramento are well-meaning, but maybe letting people use screw-in compact fluorescents in their remodels is the best interim solution to the energy problem.

Here’s something else to ponder. The California Integrated Waste Management Board says that all fluorescent lamps and tubes should be recycled or disposed as HAZARDOUS WASTE because of their mercury content. And, how many people are actually recycling their fluorescent lights? Ah, the esteemed state agency has the answer to this question as well. In 2001, 15,555,556 fluorescent lamps were sold in California, and only 0.21% of these lamps were recycled.

I’m guessing that people may not realize that fluorescent lights cannot be disposed of with their regular trash. Also, if you don’t offer curbside recycling of fluorescent lights, then don’t expect people to recycle them. Seems really short sighted in my mind to require people to use lighting products containing hazardous wastes, but not coming up with a more compelling disposal solution. This may well end up being a replay of the MTBE scandal where to “spare the air,” additives in the the gasoline sold then turned around and poisoned the groundwater. All that mercury going into the landfills will probably have a similar effect down the line.

1 comment… add one
  • In my opinion, the California title 24 rules for kitchen lighting should have been based on the percent of lumens from high efficacy lighting and not wattage. The rule as it is stated virtually requires fluorescent lighting in the kitchen.

    Check out the custom fluorescent gallery.

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