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The Cost of Putting the Trouble Back in the Bottle

Saturday, December 31, 2011

BUSINESS WEEK, December 30, 2011

dreamstime_xs_22482986 The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging the Legislature to take a closer look at the cost of so-called take-back programs aimed at ensuring proper disposal of mercury-containing compact fluorescent lights, batteries and electronic waste.

The DEP says it has cost more than $2.5 million over the last decade to remove about 400 pounds of mercury from the environment. That’s about $6,000 per pound.

The agency says 112 pounds of mercury has been recovered in Maine from vehicle switches, 264 pounds from thermostats and 32 pounds from light bulbs over 10 years.

The agency is now seeking public input to go along with the report to the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. [Read original article]

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