The lighting industry is to ask the Government to provide recycling for its products so that all materials in things such as bulbs can be kept out of landfills.
But the NZ Lighting Council has denied the request is specifically to address the mercury content of the hugely popular energy efficient compact fluorescent lights. In some parts of the US, householders are urged to treat broken bulbs as a toxic hazard.
Council chairman Rob Tomkies regarded such advice as "scaremongering".
Funding for a voluntary recycling programme would come from a trust fund fed by sales of lighting products.
The industry's environmental committee expected such an approach would be able to recycle or dispose of all lighting materials, including the mercury in the compact lights.
It did not expect householders to have to treat broken bulbs as toxic waste.