Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Recycling CFLs - an update

Coop member Maureen asks:
I have a bunch of the compact bulbs that the coop sells and tried to return them to Brook's appliance for safe disposal. [they are listed on the NYSERDA site as a collection site] Home Depot and Lowes also do not accept these bulbs for recycling.

Do you have any advice you would be willing to offer?

Response:
That is indeed frustrating! Both Home Depot and Lowes are also listed (in error, apparently) on Earth911.com as accepting compact fluorescent bulbs.

Ikea is also listed on Earth911 as a collection site, and I have personally returned bulbs there (at the Brooklyn Ikea) within the past month. Their recycling collection bins are conveniently located just inside the entrance nearest the bike rack. By the way, adjacent to that bin is a collection bin for rechargeable batteries. (Unfortunately, they discontinued the collection of alkaline batteries earlier this year, despite what you may read on Ikea's own web site.)

A bit more background:
All fluorescent, and most high intensity discharge lights contain a small amount of mercury. Many states restrict or prohibit the disposal of some or all mercury containing light bulbs in the municipal waste stream. Due to environmental concerns, all mercury-containing bulbs should be recycled!

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