Monday, June 9, 2008

Disposal of Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs

I have gotten a little off track lately with all my posts about environmental issues that affect our health, so please ignore the ranting and raving and go to the recipes on the right if you want what to feed your kids.

I am not a fan of compact fluorescent lightbulbs because I have become skeptical of new things that big companies are trying to sell us that haven't stood the test of time. See my post about Mercury in Compact Fluorescent Bulbs for more info...but if you have Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL's) in your house and you need to dispose of them it is critical that you recycle them so they don't end up in our water supply.

To find the closest recycling center for your CFLs go to the Earth911 website. In the top green banner type in "CFL" and your zip code to find the nearest recycling location. lamprecycling.com is another website which recycles by mail. But, both these sights make me think recycling these lightbulbs is not easy. So I called 311 which is our New York help line...they said the bulbs could be dropped off at 65 west 30th Street between 11th and 12th Avenue.

If a compact fluorescent lightbulb breaks, treehugger.com says:

The EPA recommends that (1) you immediately open windows to reduce mercury concentrations inside your home; (2) you do not touch the spilled mercury; (3) you clean up the broken CFL glass carefully and immediately (but not with your hands or a vacuum cleaner), and (4) you wipe the affected area with a paper towel to remove all glass fragments and mercury. EPA further recommends that you place the paper towel and glass fragments in a sealed plastic bag and bring the sealed bag to your local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
Collection Site.
Dr. Stuart Freedenfeld gave a lecture on Avoiding Environmental Toxins in May, he said that you should cover the area with wet cloth and put the cloth and the bulb in a plastic bag outside.

WHAT TO DO: Have a recycling plan in place before you buy CFLs.

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