Tuesday, Home Depot announced their new CFL recycling program, which puts them on the map as the single largest retailer and recyclers of the Mercury filled compact fluorescent lightbulbs. While many companies, governments and organizations have been pushing hard for the adoption of the CFLs, not many have addressed the issue of what happens to the bulbs when they die, except for telling people to recycle them. Until now, there has not been a readily accessible place to recycle CFL’s, but now that almost 2,000 Home Depot’s across the country are accepting spent CFL’s, it makes it that much easier to reduce atmospheric CO2 and Mercury.
The amount of Mercury in a CFL is quite small and the fact is, the amount of Mercury one CFL will save from entering the atmosphere as a result of dirty coal generated electricity is much more than it contains. Interestingly enough, your household thermostat has over 1,000 times more Mercury than a CFL, but still CFL’s get a lot of negative criticism because of this.
Fortunately, this negative criticism should quiet down with the announcement of this new national Home Depot infrastructure for properly disposing and recycling of CFLs. So, don’t let a little Mercury hold you back from updating your home to a more energy efficient lighting system.
Via: The New York Times