Did you know that a compact fluorescent light bulb uses about 70% less energy and lasts ten times than incandescent light? Yes, switching to CFLs, energy-efficient bulbs can cut down your energy bills. However, they contain a minute amount of mercury – posing an environmental hazard. For this reason, you shouldn’t dispose of them in your general recycling bin.
Don’t know how to dispose of used CFL bulbs? Quick Spark has gathered some valuable information that will help you make the best possible decision. Pick the one that works the best for you.
Why Recycle CFL bulbs?
Fluorescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury. But, it may harm the ecosystem if a large number of CFL bulbs gets disposed of in landfills. Moreover, mercury in landfills can be extremely dangerous because it converts into methylmercury that spreads into the environment through the soil, water, and air.
Hence, opt for a recycling program to:
- Decrease the health risks to human life.
- Avoid dumping in landfills.
- Reuse valuable resources such as mercury phosphor powder, glass, and metal.
Where to Recycle Used CFL Bulbs?
CFL bulbs shouldn’t go into your regular trash bin. The following pointers will help you find recycling facilities that will dispose of your old CFL bulbs.
Be ready to get the blank stares when you ask your local home improvement store manager about the recycling program. Kidding, it doesn’t have to be like this! The majority of the local stores/vendors that sell CFL bulbs have now started offering recycling programs. You may see a drop box near the entrance of your hardware store, or you can ask them if they deal in disposing of CFL bulbs responsibly.
2. Your Garbage Service
It’s probably the best and the easiest way you can opt to get the job done. Check with your local service, who picks up your regular trash bin – if they are offering CFL recycling services. Moreover, some of the garbage service providers want the consumers to dispose of the CFL bulbs at their facility, and they will take care of the rest.
3. Municipal Government
Disposal of the trash is entirely a responsibility of the local municipality – you can check if your town is offering a municipal recycling service. You can get the contact number of local municipality agencies from the phone directory and look for a sanitation service provider. If they don’t have CFL specific facilities, ask them how you can dispose of CFL bulbs safely.
P.S IF YOU ARE GOING TO PUT CFL BULBS IN YOUR REGULAR TRASH BIN, MAKE SURE YOU SEAL THEM WITH A NEWSPAPER OR IN A PLASTIC BAG TO PREVENT THEM FROM BREAKING.
What Happens to CFLs After Disposal?
After collecting the CFL bulbs, they are sent to the reprocessing facility where the recycling takes place. Recycling happens to recover metal, glass, etc.
Replacing your lighting system with CFL bulbs is one of the easiest ways you can opt for going green. While compact fluorescent light bulbs are becoming more and more energy-efficient and cost-effective, their safe disposal is becoming an issue because they contain mercury.
Once they have been used, they should be discarded and recycled in accordance with local laws and regulations.