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Christopher Wilde
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Compact Florescent Bulbs

I have these installed all over the house with only a couple of exceptions.  They are, places where I need instant light, like the bathroom.  I have a 50/50 mix in the kitchen.  And I have a 50/50 mix in the living room but they are in separate lamps so that most of the time I'm only using the florescent in the living room.  When I move into a new place I tend to wait until the old bulbs burn out before I replace them with florescent.  It's cost effective and I think most people should have the sense to use them.  There is a down side that I never hear anyone talking about.  Well here it is they contain mercury.

This comes from EarthEasy.com

Important Note: Handling and Disposal of CFLs

The mercury in compact fluorescent bulbs poses no threat while in the bulb, but if you break one:
- open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more
- use a wet rag to clean it up and put all of the pieces, and the rag, into a plastic bag
- place all materials in a second sealed plastic bag
- call your local recycling center to see if they accept this material, otherwise put it in your local trash. Wash your hands afterward.

Although household CFL bulbs may legally be disposed of with regular trash (in most US states), they are categorized as household hazardous waste. As long as the waste is sent to a modern municipal landfill, the hazard to the environment is limited. However, CFLs should not be sent to an incinerator, which would disperse the mercury into the atmosphere.

The best solution is to save spent CFLs for a community household hazardous waste collection, which would then send the bulbs to facilities capable of treating, recovering or recycling them. For more information on CFL disposal or recycling, you can contact your local municipality.

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