Waste Management Inc. has launched a program for communities to recycle used compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) along with their residential recycling programs in the following cities: Rolling Estates, Calif.; Melbourne, Fla.; Palm Bay City, Fla.; and Brevard County, Fla.
Residents of the four communities will receive a Mercury VaporLok container that can store as many as 12 standard CFLs. When the bag is full, residents can call Waste Management to collect the container through their current curbside pickup service.
In California, it is illegal to dispose of CFLs in landfills as they contain mercury. Some retailers offer residential takeback programs, such as Ikea and Home Depot. Residents can also bring their spent bulbs to their local household hazardous waste facility. To find one near you, click here.
CFLs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, helping consumers reduce electricity consumption and save on utility bills. Because the devices contain mercury, however, proper handling and disposal of the bulbs is an important safety and environmental consideration.