Sunday, May 1

Discarding CFLs

Post from the Past:

Recently one of our CFLs burned out. Since they contain a small amount of mercury I knew that I could not just discard it.

So I clicked over to Earth911.com. At the top of their webpage they have this nifty thing where you type in what you want to recycle and your zip code and up pops a list of places in your area that recycle your item. So simple!

I found out that our local Home Depot recycles CFLs. Since my husband was already making a trip there I sent the burnt out light bulb along with him.

It turns out finding the drop spot was not as easy as using Earth911.com.

After asking the 3rd person, my husband was directed to a small unmarked orange bin in the corner of the store. The customer service tech showed him the simple process;

  1. Place bulb into a plastic bag
  2. Tie bag
  3. Deposit in a special container
Simple and easy.

The CFLs are then transported to the city's recycling center (which we could have taken them to ourselves but Home Depot was closer and "easier") 

While I was on Earth911.com I did learn some information about CFLs that I had not known before:
This type of light bulb uses a fraction of the electricity used by incandescent light bulbs. CFLs are becoming a household name for many reasons, including the attention given to them by Congress. Due to the their inefficient use of energy, incandescent bulbs will be banned by Congress, starting in 2012, with a complete phase out by 2014; even existing halogen bulbs will not make Congress’ new mandate to make all bulbs 70 percent more efficient by 2020.

I think this mandate is long overdue but better late than never!

Go Green: Switch to Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)

Original post of Over Coffee-the green edition. Not to be used or copied in any way without written permission.. 

1 comment:

Panta Rei said...

Not sure that the switch to CFLs or LEDs is all that safe and environmental, given mercury and radiation problems (CFLs) and lead and arsenic problems (LEDs)


There’s an irony there somewhere,
banning simple safe known technology in favor of unknown and seemingly unsafe technology
- normally of course products are banned for being unsafe to use
(like say lead paint)

It is a “ban” on simple incandescents:
Temporarily allowed and unpopular Halogen etc
incandescents are themselves more complex and costly and with a
different (whiter) light for marginal savings, compared to the simple, cheap, popular and banned regular incandescent types.

The further irony is that the popularity,
being about 4 out of 5 bulbs bought, is the reason for the ban:
No “Big Savings” from banning what people don’t like!

People don’t save that much in switching anyway.
One reason is that the heat can be useful as background room heat,
another is that common cheaper CFLs (“energy saving” lights ) draw twice the energy from the
power plant than what your meter suggests – but users of course have to pay for that eventually too
(look up CFL “power factor” online, or Ceolas.net
with more about the lack of savings from the ban)
.