Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How to Recycle CFLs

We recently replaced most of the light bulbs in the house with Compact Fluorescents. I'm looking forward to the energy savings (up to 75% less energy!) and not replacing bulbs as often (last up to 10 times longer!), because my high ceilings require ladders to get to the ceiling lights.

They don't light up quite as quick as conventional bulbs, but you get used to it. I like the quality of the light too, it's good for reading and I swear the plants in the 'Jungle' (aka dining room) look extra vibrant green. (It could also be the worm compost I've been feeding them, more on that later!)

I had heard most people don't realize that the CFLs contain mercury and should be recycled. I had also heard that it was difficult to find a place to recycle them, but no longer, now there is a website where you can find a recycling location. is a network of over 550 locations where you can return your bulbs. I found that my local ACE hardware store (ACE is one of the sponsors of the program) will take them, no charge!

UPDATE: 3/27/08
My CFLs are still going strong, looking good, and my electric bill has gone down. Coincidence? Maybe, but I'm not complaining.
I found some more information on CFLs at Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs – A Tale From Dust to Dust
If you're still not convinced, see this data from the article:
"If a CFL bulb lasts for longer than 50hrs, then the total life cycle energy consumption of the CFL will be lower than that of an incandescent bulb even though they are more complicated to make."

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