2011 Senate Bill 197 (Recycling and disposal of CFL bulbs)
- Introduced by Sen. Mike Gabbard (D) on January 21, 2011, to require retailers of compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs to post signs with certain information by 1/1/2012; to require manufacturers of CFL bulbs to manage their CFL bulb waste by 1/1/2012 and submit a waste management plan by 1/1/2012
- Scheduled to be heard by the Energy and Environment committee on Tuesday, 2-8-2011 at 2:45 p.m. in conference room 225; and by the Commerce and Consumer Protection committee on Wednesday, 2-9-11 at 10 a.m. in conference room 229.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs vs. Environmental and Expense Consequences
The state of Hawaii has been trying for years to mandate changing out the use of regular light bulbs in state buildings with more energy efficient ones, such as compact fluorescent lights (CFL), which contain mercury, and light-emitting diode or LED, a device that converts energy to light. The LEDs are more efficient than regular light bulbs and CFLs, last longer, are more durable and contain no mercury. But upfront costs for LED devices are high and the economy has prevented this measure from passing. All this according to House Bill 1172, a bill to provide individuals and companies with temporary income tax credits for using the energy efficient LEDs.
With this energy efficiency bonus however comes the problem of disposing of fluorescent and CFL bulbs in landfills. Enter 2 more bills – which put mandates on disposing the CFL bulbs by retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. Senate Bill 197 mandates companies that sell the CFL bulbs submit a plan to the Legislature by 1/1/2012 on how to manage the waste. And then there’s House Bill 1527 that requires retailers and wholesalers to accept used light bulbs for recycling from customers.
While it is good to consider energy conservation methods, it is as important to realize the added costs and consequences to the taxpayer, to businesses and to the environment.
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