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Did you know

April 14th, 2008 at 03:37 pm

The Compact Fluorescent light bulbs have mercury in them. The package says they must be disposed of properly. Did you know that this is as simple as a google search for HHW (hazardous household waste) and the name of the nearest major city? Google should be able to find the nearest HHW recycling center for you. I was able to find that Charmeck - Charlotte and the nearby communities, has 4 HHW centers that offer free disposal of most HHW. I also found many, many articles advising that although the mercury in a CFL bulb is dangerous and needs to be disposed of properly when the bulb needs replaced or is broken, it can be done simply and you do not need to call a HAZMAT team!

Do not use a vacuum to clean the residue from a broken CFL!! Open windows to allow the mercury vapor to dissipate while you work. Clean up the dust and glass fragments with a disposable towel. Place the peices, and the towel in a sealable bag or container (Zip lock should work). Take it to the HHW recycling center.

5 Responses to “Did you know”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:


    I knew it had Mercury, but didn't realize it'd be simple to find a place to dispose of it. Thanks.

  2. Aleta Says:

    I don't like the CFL lightbulbs. Years ago, I had headaches because of flourescent lights and had to wear glasses with a pink tinge.

    I honestly think that the CFL will be short lived. They'll come out with something else. CFL's are too bright. I often have to unscrew some from my bathroom to get rid of the hospital and sterile type light

  3. disneysteve Says:

    Aleta - Modern CFLs are much better than the early ones years ago. Also, they come in different light spectrums. I know Home Depot's line has 3 light types to choose from. They aren't all "sterile type" light. You can get ones that give light that is the same as incandescent bulbs.

  4. Caoineag Says:

    Good to know regarding the disposal, I have had CFL's for 5 years now and have never had to throw one out yet (we have always used a lot of natural light so no lights on from 7am-7pm most days.) Knew about the mercury not being a huge issue though. Especially when compared to the good old fashioned mercury filled thermometers!

    Honestly though, how do you manage to break a CFL (other than dropping it on uncovered concrete)? I have bounced one off a wooden floor before. They are pretty sturdy. Our current batch of CFL's have been in 5 different homes over the years so they even travel well.

  5. Aleta Says:

    I would be concerned that kids would get them and possibly drop and break them.

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