National strategy for lamps containing mercury: Closed consultation

Current status: Closed

This consultation ran from November 2017 to April 29, 2019.

We asked Canadians to share their ideas about how Canada can significantly reduce the number of lamps containing mercury going to landfills. Comments gathered through this consultation were considered in the development of the National Strategy for Lamps Containing Mercury.  

Why we consulted

The National Strategy for Safe and Environmentally Sound Disposal of Lamps Containing Mercury Act was enacted in June 2017. It requires the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to develop a national strategy by June 2019 in cooperation with provincial, territorial, and other governments in Canada responsible for the environment. The Minister must report on its implementation every 5 years.

Many lamps contain small amounts of mercury. Once these lamps burn out (becoming end-of-life or spent lamps), they must be collected and sent to specialized facilities for processing to ensure that mercury is not released into the environment. This process is known as environmentally sound disposal or simply lamp recycling. Many Canadians are unaware that they should participate in lamp recycling programs. For many others, particularly those in northern, remote and Indigenous communities, these programs are not easily accessible.

Who was the focus of this consultation

We invited all Canadians to comment, including anyone involved in end-of-life management of lamps containing mercury (collection, storage, transportation, processing and disposal), or in one of the following areas:

  • electrical contracting
  • lamp processing
  • hazardous waste management
  • municipal waste management
  • retail stores
  • stewardship organizations

Key questions for discussion

  • What programs, services or incentives would make you more likely to recycle lamps?
  • What should be done to raise awareness of the importance of recyling lamps?
  • What solutions would be most effective to recover spent lamps from northern, remote and Indigenous communities?
  • What are the key pieces of information about end-of-life management that should be tracked to measure progress?
  • Are there any gaps in the guidance or best practices used in your province, territory or place of business?

What we heard: interim reports

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