Why is Recycling CFLs Important?
Recycling compact fluorescent light bulbs prevents the release of mercury into the environment. CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs can break when thrown into a dumpster, garbage can or landfill.
On top of that, almost all of the materials in CFLs can be reused, including the glass, metals and other materials that make up fluorescent lights.
Recycling CFLs is not only better for the environment, some state and local jurisdictions require it. Simply contact your local waste collection agency to find out if you live in a city, county or state that requires you to recycle fluorescent bulbs. While we don’t have an exhaustive list, we do know that the following states prohibit mercury-containing light bulbs from being thrown in the trash:
Where and How Can I Recycle CFLs?
- Mail-back services
- Local retailers, such as hardware stores
- Waste collection agencies
Make an Informed Decision.
Mail-back services are the easiest choice to make when recycling CFLs. Prepaid boxes from Veolia work all of the time, every time and can be mailed back any time, whenever you’re ready.
Visit Earth911 to find collection schedules or drop-off locations in your area. When making your decision about what choice is best for you, note that waste collection agencies:
- Are usually free, while some charge a fee to handle hazardous materials
- Sometimes collect household hazardous materials only once or twice a year
- May also collect paints, pesticides, cleaning supplies or batteries
- Usually accept waste from residents only – not small businesses
Many hardware supply stores and other retailers offer in-store recycling. Make sure you check directly with the store before you go; not all stores in regional or nationwide chains may be equipped to recycle.
—The EnergyEarth Team
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