June 26, 2017 1:19 pm
Updated: June 26, 2017 4:18 pm

Canada to develop national strategy on disposing light bulbs containing mercury

A Dartmouth MP says all levels of government will need to be involved in coming up with a way to properly dispose mercury in light bulbs in response to environmental concerns. Global’s Steve Silva reports.

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Canada’s federal government plans to develop a national strategy on disposing light bulbs containing mercury.

The National Strategy for Safe and Environmentally Sound Disposal of Lamps Containing Mercury Act (Bill C-238) received royal assent on June 22.

“We have a patchwork of groups out there, there’s voluntary take-backs, there’s all kinds of wonderful things being done, but we’re still only recycling about 10 per cent of the mercury-bearing light bulbs in the country. We have a lot of work to do,” Darren Fisher, Dartmouth — Cole Harbour MP, said on Monday.

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READ MORE: Ontario could ban compact fluorescent light bulbs from landfills

He said he wants the strategy to consider what other provinces are doing about the issue right now.

Mercury in landfills is an environment and health concern, and there are no federal regulations regarding the element’s disposal, according to Fisher.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Emma Norton, energy conservation coordinator with the environmental advocacy group Ecology Action Centre. “Nova Scotia is already doing a great job of it with our recycling program.”

She said the strategy is “necessary,” and it would be worth considering other products containing mercury that may be thrown out, such as thermometers.

The outcome of the strategy could offer a boost to green economy that Nova Scotia should capitalize on, Norton added, partly referencing Dan-X Recycling.

The Burnside company says it’s able to recycle essentially every part of a light bulb.

READ MORE: Human activity has doubled or tripled levels of mercury in oceans: study

Fisher said all levels of government need to be involved because each is in charge, to some degree, with the disposal of materials.

“We don’t need a federal government that comes down hard on municipalities, provinces, and indigenous governments across the country,” he added.

Fisher said part of the strategy has to include public education.

The report to parliament on the private member’s bill is supposed to delivered by June 22, 2019.

WATCH: Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP Darren Fisher gives us an update on Bill C-238.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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