AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine law requiring manufacturers of compact fluorescent light bulbs to set up recycling programs to keep mercury out of the environment is being called the first of its kind in the nation.

Gov. John Baldacci will ceremonially sign the bill Monday afternoon.

The law requires that a system be in place by 2011 for collecting and recycling the bulbs, which are designed for long service and economy. It also sets standards for the maximum amount of mercury allowed in the bulbs.

The Natural Resources Council of Maine says the law will reduce mercury pollution, which can harm human health after it gets into the environment. The recycling law succeeds Maine\’s voluntary, pilot recycling program for compact fluorescent bulbs.

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