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Effort to Save Energy

Harvey Field
Published:08/11/2008 County
Effort to Save Energy    Print Snohomish Times    
Effort to Save Energy

County Councilmember Dave Gossett
County Councilmember John Koster

Snohomish County, in cooperation with Wal-Mart Stores, has launched an expanded program to encourage the use of compact energy and cost-efficient fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Wal-Mart Stores recently donated 4,000 CFLs to the county, allowing many more low income residents to receive these efficient light bulbs.

The county's Human Services Department will distribute the bulbs through its Energy Assistance and Weatherization Programs that served over 5,000 local households during the 2007-2008 heating season. Senior Services of Snohomish County will also be distributing the CFL bulbs to its Meals-on-Wheels and Minor Home Repair clients.
"Wal-Mart's contribution is especially timely and much appreciated," said County Councilmember John Koster. "The Snohomish County PUD has provided CFLs for our Energy Assistance Program clients for many years, but the greater numbers of people seeking assistance with heating and lighting bills has increased the need to provide even more CFLs than in the past. Wal-Mart's generous donation will get us through the rest of the year."

CFLs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. CFLs last from five to seven years. Because they produce less wasteful heat, they also stay cool to the touch after use. Installing a single CFL can prevent 450 lbs. of greenhouse gases from reaching the air. Lighting accounts for 20 percent of the average home's electric bill. By changing the light bulbs in an average house, a homeowner may save as much as $350 per year.
"We believe this is an important effort for a more sustainable community," said Councilmember Dave Gossett. "Wal-Mart's 4,000 CFL bulb donation will save county households almost $61,000 annually, while also removing the equivalent of 1.8 million pounds of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere."

"Wal-Mart is pleased to contribute to this effort," said Jennifer Spall, senior manager for public relations at Wal-Mart. "We are committed to helping conserve our energy resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We've sold more than 100 million CFLs and given thousands to local communities. It's part of our overall commitment to sustainability."

Please Recycle CFL Bulbs
Because of these light bulbs contain very small amounts of mercury (about 5 milligrams), CFLs should be recycled. Fluorescent bulbs and tubes are not accepted as garbage, but Snohomish County residential customers can take limited quantities of fluorescent bulbs and tubes (up to 12) to Snohomish County Solid Waste facilities (1). There is no charge. Residential customers may also bring used fluorescent bulbs, tubes and lamp ballasts to the county's Household Hazardous Waste facility located at 3434 McDougal, Everett. An information sheet describing the recycling requirements will be distributed to every bulb recipient.

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