Don't Trash This Bright Idea
Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Author: eventer79
Compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs): great for saving energy and last much longer than conventional lightbulbs. By all means, buy them and use them in the place of the old incandescent bulbs. They even have great natural light now, no more harsh florescent glare.


All CFLs contain mercury, which we all know is bad to release into the environment. It is toxic to humans and animals -- put in landfills, it leaches through the soil into groundwater and you drink it. Once it's in the water, it is also bioavailable to fish and, through the food web, is integrated into their tissues, so when you eat them, you get an extra dose of "quicksilver." Mmmm-mmmm, mercury! Well, crap, you say, what the heck am I supposed to do with the stupid things if they burn out or break then?!

Green Guardian is a great start for any questions on how to dispose of pretty much anything you can think of -- for CFLs, just click on "florescent bulbs" in the dropdown list. Your county will also have an answer for you.

And just in case you're feeling particularly lazy (hey, I don't like working too hard either, you never know when it might kill you!), I've got some ready options for you right here!

(1) Home Depot has a nationwide CFL recycling program, just drop 'em off
(2) Check your local Ace Hardware, availability may vary.
(3) My favourite because you don't even have to leave home: Waste Management's LampTracker program -- they send you cartons, you pack up your bulbs and just mail them back. Think of it as Netflix for CFL's!
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On February 26, 2009 at 12:02 PM , lifeshighway said...

I did not know this and I am overwhelmed by all the the whole concept of consumer waste management.