Proper CFL disposal is important
Compact fluorescent light bulbs and proper disposal
Proper CFL disposal is important simply because compact fluorescent light bulbs contain small amounts of mercury.
Energy savings minded consumers are making the switch to CFL light bulbs every day.
But unfortunately some homeowners are still unaware of how to properly dispose of them.
Don't simply trash CFL light bulbs
Unlike with traditional bulbs, used CFL's should not be thrown away in the trash can. In fact in some states, counties and cities this practice has become illegal.
Each bulb only contains a small amount of mercury within the tubes, so it's important to stress that CFL's are in fact very safe for home use.
However, if compact fluorescent light bulbs are simply thrown away, the tubes of the bulbs are likely to break before they even reach local landfills. And all the bulbs and all the mercury will eventually add up, causing a potential serious environmental problem.
CFL recycling is the best way to dispose of used compact fluorescent bulbs. And thankfully some major and local retailers recognize the potential problem and have developed in store CFL drop off and recycling programs. IKEA and The Home Depot have CFL recycling centers in every store.
Homeowners can receive assistance finding local CFL recycling centers. Earth911 is a great website that assists homeowners find local CFL disposal and recycling centers. Simply enter what you wish to recycle and then your zip code.
It's also a good idea to recycle your energy star light bulbs in bulk. Since CFL light bulbs last about 10 times longer than traditional bulbs, you won't be making many trips to a recycling center near you.
Handle broken CFL bulbs with care
Even though CFL's contain only small traces of mercury, you still should handle broken bulbs with a certain amount of care.
If one or more of your energy efficient light bulbs accidently break in your home before they burn out, use the simple clean up procedure recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.