John Stossel wrote about the federal government’s ban on incandescent light bulbs and dangers of compact fluorescent light bulbs yesterday, and asked: “So what are we supposed to do when we have to dispose of the bulbs?” He supplied an answer:
Maine’s bureaucrats have a 14-point set of clean-up rules that include:
- Do not use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the breakage. This will spread the mercury vapor.
- Ventilate the area by opening windows, and leave the area for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the larger pieces and place them in a secure closed container.
- Label the container as “universal waste.”
- Take the glass container with the waste material to a facility that accepts “universal waste” for recycling.
That is Maine’s current “toned down” clean-up rules after EPA bureaucrats first embarrassed themselves by initially telling a woman who broke a fluorescent bulb that she might have to hire a hazardous materials cleanup contractor.
Mr. Stossel writes that saying “no” to compact fluorescent light bulbs probably won’t help: “Once the federal regulating behemoth makes rules, it rarely repeals them.” Maybe if enough people send their burnt out or broken compact fluorsecent light bulbs to Washington this will be one of the rare times that Washington does repeal a stupid law.