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Fluorescent Lamp Recycling

Organization(s) Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Vermont Small Business Development Center
Project Description VT DEC was awarded an EPA fluorescent lamp recycling outreach grant to implement business/commercial outreach programs to increase fluorescent lamp recycling rates. Baseline recycling rates were determined in order to compare recycling rates before and after outreach efforts. A media campaign was conducted in December 2003 involving feature stories on local TV stations, press releases, and development of a web site. A larger outreach campaign was conducted in the spring of 2004, with a major mailing of information to over 16,000 businesses statewide, newspaper ads, and radio ads.

The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VT SBDC), partnering with VT DEC, has provided management and financial administration for the Lamp Recycling Pilot Project with True Value hardware stores. This pilot project had 30 participating True Value hardware stores in the first year (2005), and now has 40 True Value and 23 Ace hardware stores in the program. Stores provide homeowners and small businesses with no-cost recycling services limited to six bulbs per visit (stores can accept more if they choose). Project funding is currently through a Supplemental Environmental Project. This service has clearly made small quantity fluorescent bulb recycling more convenient for consumers and small businesses alike.

VT DEC and VT SBDC developed a marketing plan for this project in cooperation with the hardware stores and Efficiency Vermont (the state's energy efficiency utility), and continue to market this project. VT DEC staff set up all of the True Value participating stores with lamp recycling boxes, marketing materials, surveys, and instructions. Recycling collection options were evaluated in this project: back-shipping the lamp recycling boxes to the New Hampshire True Value Distribution warehouse, and to the New York Ace distribution warehouse. These systems, with numbers for reordering lamp shipping boxes have worked well for all parties involved. To date the participating store's have collected 104,598 linear feet of fluorescent tubes and 2,768 circle-lines, u-tubes, and compact fluorescent bulbs for recycling.

In addition, VT SBDC has tabulated customer surveys from program users. A total of 457 surveys were received from 349 households, 98 businesses, and 11 municipalities. The survey respondent indicated that roughly 3 out of 4 customers would be willing to pay up to $.50 per bulb for the convenience of recycling bulbs in the future. Respondents indicated that they learned about the lamp recycling pilot project principally through the True Value in-store poster, followed by newspaper ads and True Value flyers.

Project Contact
Name Peter Crawford
Phone 802-728-1423
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Energy Efficiency
Activity Keywords Funding and grants
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 17 No. 1, Spring 2007 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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