Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Recycling Fluorescent Bulbs / Mercury

Our meeting last night included a discussion on recycling of compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and the issue of the small amount of mercury in each bulb.

First, it should be noted that the amount of mercury in each bulb is less than the amount of additional mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants to support a regular incandescent (filament) bulb, so even if you throw the CFL in the trash, you're still emitting less mercury.

But that's not ideal. You can, however, buy a $15 box (click here) with prepaid shipping back to Sylvania, who will recover the mercury. Each box holds 12 bulbs, so the cost to recycle is $1.25 per bulb. Commercial companies can buy boxes to recycle long tube fluorescent bulbs, too.

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