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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to Recycle Fluorescents

The Green Movement caused many people to switch from using incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs. These compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have many more advantages compared to incandescent lamps: They take up less energy, live up to ten times longer and can save you up to $30 per bulb in energy costs. However, it is extremely important to dispose of CFLs properly, and the only way you can do so is by recycling.

Reasons why you should recycle fluorescent lamps and bulbs:

  1. Each broken fluorescent lamp releases a small amount of mercury into the environment. Considering that about 670 million fluorescent bulbs are discarded – not recycled – every year in the United States, this amount of mercury exposure can be extremely toxic to humans and other living organisms. Long-term illnesses like permanent nerve and kidney damage can come hand-in-hand with the introduction of mercury into the environment.
  2. Environmental Responsibility. The green movement promotes the idea that we each hold the responsibility to keep the Earth in good condition. This includes being less wasteful and reusing the resources that are salvageable. Essentially every part of a fluorescent bulb is recyclable.
  3. You may not have a choice. Each state may hold its own specific regulations on recycling CFLs. Confirm your state or local government’s requirements with your local waste collection agency.

How to Recycle Fluorescents:

  1. Do not break the bulbs. Fluorescents are only dangerous when broken, so make sure to move them to their containers carefully without dropping them. If they happen to break, pick up the pieces wearing protective gear over your entire body and thoroughly ventilate the area.
  2. Pack them properly into the right containers. This step is important to ensure that the bulbs don’t break. Wrap each bulb in a padded material like bubble wrap, or put them inside their original casing. Then place the wrapped fluorescents in a box.
  3. Figure out where to send or drop them off. Use the Recycling Center Search to find the nearest recycling location for you.

As a supplier of fluorescents, we offer a prepaid recycling program to make recycling easier for you. The cost takes care of everything from start to finish — simply ship the prepaid box out once it’s full! Take a look at the many different sizes and options of our lamp recycling containers here.

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