While compact flourescent bulbs last longer and are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, proper disposal at the end of their life span is not so simple. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control has banned CFLs from dipsosal in landfills because they contain mercury which is harmful to human tissues. Thus consumers and municipalities are faced with the challenge of safe recycling and disposal methods for spent bulbs. Jennifer Olney of KGO San Francisco writes:
...there is no statewide plan for handling fluorescents when they burn out. You are supposed to recycle them. But you can't throw them in a cart with the rest of your recycling because they might break and the mercury would escape.
That means local governments are left holding the bag, trying to figure out how to make it convenient for people to recycle fluorescents -- and how to pay for it.
CAW & CFLs
In 2007, CAW sponsored AB 1109 by Assembly Member Jared Huffman(San Rafael) was signed by the Governor. One provision of this bill required the Department of Toxic Substances Control to create a task force to make recommendations to be delivered to the Legislature by September 1, 2008 on the most effective and cost-effective method for collecting and recycling end-of-life light bulbs. CAW is a member on this task force.
Need to recycle your CFLs. Find a location here>>
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