EXTRA, EXTRA/The lights are on in Fairfax County, Va.
Fairfax County, Va., recently began replacing fluorescent bulbs in public buildings with energy-saving bulbs to help the county save money and protect the environment. The bulb replacement was part of the county’s Fluorescent Lamp Management Program, the goal of which is to recycle approximately 20,000 bulbs annually. Since September, the county already has recycled 5,000 bulbs. “Fairfax County demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship by focusing on the appropriate management of mercury in the bulbs while supporting ‘green purchasing’ policies,” says Mike Harness, assistant director of the county’s Facilities Management Division. “This is a good program for business to adopt to prevent pollution in the county.” The small amount of mercury in fluorescent bulbs is a toxic metal that can be harmful to people and animals. Nationwide, only 20 percent of all fluorescent bulbs are recycled, according to the Washington-based Environmental Protection Agency.