Saturday, October 25, 2008

Recylcing CFLs

I am so happy to find that CFL light bulbs can now be recycled at any Home Depot .

I started replacing the incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s over a year ago.  Other than the strange light bulbs that are teeny tiny, all of mine have been replaced with CFL’s.

I was most concerned with a couple of spots to start. 

The hood over my stove has 2 lights.  The button to turn them off stopped working about 2 years ago.  Therefore, the lights are always on.  We were going through a light bulb a week.  I replaced those last April (2007) and they have yet to burn out.

The second place was my step-dad’s home office.  He goes in there at 6:00 am and sometimes doesn’t come out until after midnight.  The lights are on 8 – 12 hours a day.  He did not want me to replace the regular bulbs, so while he was out one day, I snuck in and replaced them.

It was weeks before he noticed.  Now, all the bulbs in the house are replaced.  I was also happy to put them in the bathroom fixtures because those are really difficult to access.  The covers are a challenge to remove, so the less they need to be changed, the better.

Some have burned out in my step-dad’s office.  They were the larger wattage bulbs.  After I had several, I took them to Ace Hardware near my house to recycle, but they closed and I have been concerned where to take any that burn out in the future.

CFL’s MUST be recycled.  They contain trace amounts of mercury, which is harmful to the environment if put in landfills.  (If one breaks, you should follow certain steps to clean it up.)  

All you have to do is take the “expired” unbroken CFL to Home Depot, put in a plastic bag and place it in a marked orange receptacle.   

I understand IKEA is recycling them as well.

There is no excuse to not use them.  They are a bit more expensive, but you can find good deals at many home improvement stores.  You can even find coupons online.  I have also found them in Dollar Stores.

They last longer and use much less energy, which cuts your electric bill down greatly.  If it saves you money AND helps the environment, why not?

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