Home Depot gets props for recycling compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)

July 8, 2008 – 1:03 pm

A few years ago, I started replacing my standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Note: Keep in mind that when you start replacing bulbs that there are a few different size bulbs, as well as different levels of true white light (soft white vs. day light). Also, only a few support the dimming option, so if they are on a dimmer, make sure you get the right kind.

I wrote about the European incandescent-light-bulb-ban about a year ago.

According to ENERGY STAR:

    • ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
      Save about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb’s lifetime.
      Produce about 75 percent less heat, so they’re safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.
  • If you have ever had to recycle the bulbs, you know how much of a hassle it can be. Since the bulbs have mercury in them, I hope that you don’t just throw them in the trash. I’ve been stockpiling the bulbs and waiting for a good time to recycle them and now is as good of a time as any, as we’re moving houses and need to move the bulbs.

    According to Wikipedia (although no source is cited), only about 3% of CFL bulbs are recycled or disposed of properly.

    The NY Times recently ran an article about Home Depot offering compact fluorescent bulb recycling, as the article states, “creating the nation’s most widespread recycling program for the bulbs.”

    The article also mentions that 75 percent of the nation’s homes are within 10 miles of a Home Depot. With Home Depot stepping up to the plate, I’m hoping that others follow, such as Lowes. Menards (at least in MN) also offers free CFL recycling. Several other hardware stores also offer bulb recycling. Check with your local store for participation.

    The EPA has a page on recycling the bulbs as well.

    I broke a CF bulb a few weeks ago and was happy to find out that the amount of mercury in a CFL is relatively small.

    But if you do break a bulb, the EPA also has lists some directions to follow. The key item to remember is to leave the area for at least 15 minutes (and research via Google what to do next).

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    1. One Response to “Home Depot gets props for recycling compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)”

    2. My husband and I have recently changed all of our light bulbs to the fluorescent ones. Thankfully we have neither had to replace any nor have we broken any. I did know that they needed to be disposed of a different way rather than simply throwing them in the trash. It is great to know that Home Depot has starting to make this easier for us. That means I will start shopping there over some of the other stores.

      By Kate on Jul 8, 2008

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