Powering Up the Safe Collection of Mercury Products
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 (1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EST)
Fluorescent lamps and older household thermostats contain mercury—a toxic heavy metal that can pollute our waterways and cause serious human health problems when it enters the environment. Recycling these products is an easy way to prevent the health and environmental impacts of this dangerous metal. On this free webinar, PSI’s expert speakers will explore the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from safe mercury product management initiatives nationwide, particularly in rural areas. What collection programs currently exist, and how do they work? How do regulatory programs, mandated by extended producer responsibility laws, compare to voluntary programs? What outreach and other strategies are most effective in increasing rural thermostat and fluorescent lamp collection? How can we expand outreach to different stakeholder groups, including contractors, utility companies, building owners and managers, universities, and others?
Speakers with years of experience will cover these questions and more. Complete with an ample Q&A period, this webinar will leave you with a list of tangible techniques for increasing collection of mercury products in your community.
Project Coordinator, Thermostat Recycling Corporation
Tom Murray is a pollution prevention and sustainability expert and President of Tom Murray Environmental Consulting. He also serves as Project Coordinator for the Thermostat Recycling Corporation supporting its efforts to facilitate and manage the collection and proper disposal of mercury-containing thermostats. Tom retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in January 2016. There he served as a Senior Science Advisor. Tom has over 44 years in government service. Tom led the Agency’s efforts to develop action plans for several persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals including Mercury. He helped create the Hospitals for a Healthy Environment program which led to the virtual elimination of mercury from the health care sector. He is the architect of the Green Suppliers Network and the E3: Economy, Energy and Environment initiative, both cross-agency collaborations with industry focused on manufacturing growth, energy efficiency and environmental performance. Tom also co-founded the Suppliers’ Partnership for the Environment (SP) organization – an innovative partnership between automobile original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In that capacity, Tom was instrumental in working with that industry to remove mercury-containing automotive switches from that waste stream. Tom holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Mount Saint Mary’s University and a Master’s Degree in Biology from the American University, Washington, D.C.
Environmental Specialist, Product Stewardship Programs, Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Megan Pryor is an Environmental Specialist with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, where she oversees and administers the paint, mercury thermostat, and mercury lamp product stewardship programs. Megan provides outreach, education, and technical assistance, working with municipalities and businesses to meet specific situational needs in waste reduction and recycling efforts.
Megan graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern Maine with a BA in Environmental Planning and Policy, where she discovered her passion for working on sustainable materials management.
Program Manager, LightRecycle Washington
Peter has worked extensively on the development, start-up, and operation of the statewide product stewardship program for mercury-containing lights, LightRecycle Washington, which launched on January 1, 2015. He developed the communications strategy for LightRecycle and initiated digital, print and radio advertising campaigns. He also manages operations, establishing a state-wide collections network, analyzing and reporting on program performance, and creating collection partnerships with companies such as Home Depot. LightRecycle has recycled over 2 million lights in its first two years of operation and has recently won the King County Green Globe Award for product stewardship. Peter is also the Washington State Coordinator for the Northwest Product Stewardship Council where he creates program messaging, develops outreach materials and leads one-on-one meetings with Washington State legislators as an advocate for product stewardship initiatives. Peter holds an M.B.A. from the University of Washington.
Environment Engineer, Town of Burlington, MA Board of Health
Christine Mathis administers and enforces environmental bylaws, regulations, and policies that have been established to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of Burlington, Massachusetts and the local environment. This is accomplished by monitoring the existing environmental contamination in town, conducting inspections and promoting programs and policies to prevent further environmental releases from occurring.
Scott Cassel (Moderator)
Chief Executive Officer, Product Stewardship Institute
Scott Cassel has over 30 years of experience tackling waste management issues in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Prior to founding the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) in 2000, he served seven years as the Director of Waste Policy and Planning for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where he developed and implemented solid and hazardous waste management policies and programs. Scott is a nationally renowned leader in the product stewardship movement and has experience across multiple product categories, including electronics, lamps, thermostats, pharmaceuticals, mattresses, packaging, and paint. As PSI’s CEO, he developed the widely acclaimed facilitation process that the organization uses for stakeholder engagement and consensus-building—a process that resulted in the nation’s first industry-run, government-mandated paint stewardship program.
This material is based upon work supported under a grant by the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Rural Utilities Service.