A Bright Idea: Recycling CFLs

I don't know about you, but I use Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) in the house as much as I can.

They use less power and last longer than your old fashioned incandescent bulbs of yore and that's good for the environment.

These are great points but I have a few issues. Some models don't have the instant on of an incandescent bulb and have a cold colour temperature so they can look a little industrial. But these are not deal breakers for me.

What I have a problem with is the small amount of mercury in each lamp. I'm not scarred having them in the house but how to dispose of them. Millions of CFLs purchased now could leach mercury into a landfill and subsequently the ecosystem later.

So I'm glad that Home Depot (both in Canada and the United States) offers CFL recycling. No local Home Depots? In the USA you can check for local recycling of CFLs on earth911.com. And worldwide I'm sure a google search will turn up some local drop off points.

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7 thoughts on “A Bright Idea: Recycling CFLs”

  1. Good to hear. My local recycling center also recycles these at their "hazardous waste" facility – I usually save up my motor oil, weedkillers, paint, etc and take them along with CFLs to the facility.

  2. In Australia they're phasing out those old-school globes in favour of fluroescent ones, but I never knew I shouldn't be chucking them in the bin. Oops. I don't think we have any council initiatives to recycle them properly.I'll have to go and investigate now!

  3. The disposal issue is a big concern. There is a huge push for people to use these in Australia inc govt programs to give our free CFLs and a plan to ban the other type altogether. The disposal issue still nto resolved though. Other problems with them include that they can trigger off epileptic fits in some people because they actually flash really quickly. Also no good for art galleries, apparently. I also don't find the light that great for reading by. Still, we do have them in most of the light fittings at home. Don't think any have blown yet so haven't had to deal with the disposal issue.

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