Haringey Council failing to notify residents of light bulb risk

Haringey Council should do more to inform local residents of the potentially harmful effects of breaking and disposing of some ‘green’ light bulbs, local Liberal Democrats have said.

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs), the main type of energy-saving light bulb currently on the market, contain some harmful substances, such as mercury, which can escape if the light bulbs are broken and so the bulbs should not be put in residents’ waste or recycle bins. Liberal Democrats have raised questions but Haringey Council have only committed to putting a new page on their website to inform residents.

Cllr Martin Newton, who raised the question at the last Full Council (30th March 2009) and Overview and Scrutiny meetings (20th April 2009), comments:

“Whilst energy saving light bulbs help the environment by consuming less electricity, local residents must be alerted that they should not throw these away and be aware of the potential harm if they are broken.

“If these bulbs are broken, small amounts of mercury powder will be released and anyone using these bulbs needs to know how to handle them safely and what to do if they accidentally break one.

“However, Haringey Council seem to have not taken this seriously and have only committed to a new page on their website. This is not enough. They should be advertising how local residents should dispose of these light bulbs so they do not get into the waste stream and harm the environment.”