Wednesday, July 23, 2008

CFL Controversy

So it seems to be that CFLs are becoming the talk of the town lately. I have heard from many opinionated consumers lately, mostly about their complaints. I've decided to open it up here and give a few responses. Please feel free to respond.

Argument #1: I wouldn't put anything with mercury anywhere near my child.
Response: I realize that CFLs have mercury. Saying that, is it enough mercury to actually harm someone? I know it can harm the environment and pollute our water, but is it lethal? People are acting like they have to burn down their home if one breaks. Let me ask you this, if you break a glass in the kitchen do you continue to let your kids play in it? NO, you clear the room, you carefully sweep up the glass, maybe use some tape to clean up small shards, and you probably do this a couple of times just to make sure, right? Believe it or not these steps are very similar to cleaning up a CFL. So to me it's just really common sense. I realize you do have to be a little more careful when disposing of the CFL and it's parts, but isn't it worth it? And anyways, when was the last time you broke a light bulb? Just be a little more careful people.

Argument #2: The businesses selling these CFLs are being completely irresponsible in not advertising the safe disposal of light bulbs.
Really? Check out this site. They list the dangers on the home page. Maybe not all manufacturers do so, but many are responsible business owners and do. So instead of boycotting the entire industry, support those that care about your family and the community.

Here is a website that tells you how to dispose of and clean up mercury.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recycle Your Old CFL's

This weekend I was at Home Depot picking up a few items for home improvement. While I was checking out, I noticed a sign that read, "Recycle your CFL's here!". I hadn't given much thought how to dispose of the bulbs, because I haven't yet had to replace any of my CFL's (compact florescent bulbs). It is something to think about though...CFL's contain a small amount of mercury, and mercury isn't something that should be disposed of in the trash can. CFL's should be properly disposed of once they burn out.

Here's a list of ways you can recycle your old CFL's:

(For the complete article on recycling CFL's, visit
  • Your Local Garbage Service -Check to see if they have a recycling service for CFL's
  • The Federal/Local Government -Call or visit their website to get information on local drop-off locations
  • Retailers -Some have "take-back" programs, such as Home Depot
  • Earth 911 -Use this resource to find a recycling center in your area
  • Commercial Services -There are some businesses that recycle your bulbs for a fee
  • Storage -Until you can find a recycling option that works for you, store them