The information below provides guidance for retailers, wholesalers, distributors, producers, utilities, and local governments to comply with Washington's mercury-containing lights product stewardship program.
For the purposes of this program, the producer of mercury-containing lights sold in or into Washington includes a person or entity that:
Has or had legal ownership of the brand, brand name or co-brand of a mercury-containing light sold in or into the state, unless the brand owner is a retailer whose mercury-containing light was supplied by another producer participating in a stewardship program;
Imports or imported mercury-containing lights branded by a producer that meets the above requirements and has no physical presence in the U.S.;
Makes or made mercury lights sold in or into the state; or
Sells or sold mercury lights at wholesale or retail, does not legally own the brand, and elects to fulfill the producer responsibilities.
Washington's law on mercury light disposal (Chapter 70A.505 RCW) establishes a producer-financed product stewardship program for the collection, recycling, and disposal of mercury lights. In March 2014, the law was amended to require the producers to finance the stewardship program through an environmental handling charge added to all mercury-containing lights sold at retail in the state. LightRecycle Washington is in operation as of Jan. 1, 2015.
Some utilities already offer fluorescent light recycling programs and many local governments collect mercury containing lights in their household hazardous waste programs. This product stewardship program should help reduce their costs for managing this waste stream.