Recycle Your CFL

October 7, 2007 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

Posted by: Joseph Hershey


CFL in the hotel

More than a year ago, my buddy Ed tipped me off to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s).

Thanks Ed.

Immediately, I went out and bought enough bulbs to replace as many old incandescent type lights as possible in my house. Where I wasn’t able to replace the bulb, because of size or shape, I was at least able to cut down on the number lights being used, e.g. I unscrewed half of the over mirror hollywood lights in the guest bathroom.

CFL’s cost more, but they last up to 10 times as long. They use a quarter of the electricity to give off the same amount of light.

So there’s a Green Tax. You pay more up front. ,

But because you make it back in 4 fold over the lifetime of the bulb, it still seems like a common sense no brainer decision to me.

But wait…there’s more.

This morning, the same friend Ed tips me off to the fact that the CFL’s have some amount of mercury inside. They should be recycled in some way instead of just tossed out into the trash.

Well, duh.

You get me hooked on em, and now I have to take special care of em after they die. You didn’t tell me this when you showed me how to cut energy use and save money.

Thanks Ed.

To shut me up, he pointed me to the LighterFootstep website…

There’s an article on 5 Ways to Recycle a CFL.

I don’t expect to have to recycle any of my CFL’s in the near future, but I would like to know who’s going to do it. I’ve gotta find out.

I’d like to hear if you’ve been using CFL’s long enough that you’ve had burn outs, and if you have, where you returned them too. If you just threw them out in the garbage, I won’t judge, or put you on a panel of shame. But I’d like to know what you’re doing with these. Does it even mater?


  • Learn more about CFL’s here.
  • Follow the Energy Star Change a Light Bus Tour here . It’s a cross country bus tour to promote awareness for the goodness of CFL’s.
  • And finally, make a pledge on the Energy Star website here. Commit to changing out at least one bulb today. Let someone in Washington D.C. know that there are numbers to this movement. They should care.
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Entry filed under: Energy, green, Recycle.

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