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RCO invited to present to Senate of Canada on mercury-containing lamps

Date June 2, 2017 Author Lucy Robinson Categories Announcements | News
Bill C-238 - An Act respecting the development of a national strategy for the safe disposal of lamps containing mercury - is a private member's bill that was first introduced to parliament in February 2016. 
It has passed through third reading in parliament, passed through second reading in senate, and is currently in the senate committee stage.  
Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) addressed the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources on Thursday, June 1. 
In doing so, RCO spoke to the importance of the proper management of mercury-containing lamps, and that national standards on handling and disposing of this hazardous material will benefit environment and human health.
Watch the presentation to Senate:

It suggests the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, in co-operation with representatives of the provincial and territorial governments and with representatives of other interested governments in Canada that are responsible for the environment, and in consultation with all interested persons or organizations that he or she considers appropriate, must develop a national strategy for the safe and environmentally sound disposal of lamps containing mercury. 

The strategy may include: 

  • identification of practices for the safe and environmentally sound disposal of those lamps;
  • establishment of guidelines for facilities where activities involved in the safe and environmentally sound disposal of those lamps are carried out; and
  • development of a plan to promote public awareness of the importance of those lamps being disposed of safely and in an environmentally sound manner.

Recycling Council of Ontario has long been active in ensuring fluorescent lights and bulbs are properly managed at end-of-life, and supports Bill C-238 and its goal to implement a national strategy that ensures the safe management of mercury-containing bulbs. 

Owned and operated by RCO, Take Back the Light is Canada’s leading light recycling program for businesses and institutions, and provides a simple low-cost opportunity to have fluorescent lamps and light fixtures to be recycled responsibly.
The program encourages commercial buyers of lighting to make responsible choices. Whether lighting a stadium, subway tunnel, or office, buyers can use their purchasing influence to choose sellers and retailers that extend their services to include proper recycling. The program also has first-of-its-kind recycling standard that ensures full recovery of mercury and accountability of all material to final disposition.    

Since 2008, Take Back the Light has collected 19.6 million lamps; and recovered 70 kilograms of mercury, 4.6 million kilograms of glass, 70,000 kilograms of aluminum, and 67,000 kilograms of phosphorus powder for recycling purposes.  
For suppliers and organizations actively registered with Take Back the Light your current efforts in managing this hazardous product at end-of-life already meet stringent guidelines for recovery and disposal, and we will continue to keep you apprised of federal legislative developments that affect how lights and bulbs are managed or the implementation of national standards. 
For businesses or organizations not currently registered with Take Back the Light, we offer a low-cost solution that ensure  every spent light is tracked and managed  from collection point to final disposition under stringent environmental, health, and safety guidelines.
Recycling Options in Ontario
To have residential CFLs recycled responsibly, take spent lights to your municipal waste depot or hazardous waste drop-off event. Retailers that may accept burned out CFLs include RONA and Ikea. Businesses can contact Take Back The LightMore




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