Disposal of Fluourescent Bulbs

I’ve been considering going to compact fluorescent bulbs for a while, but the disposal issue has bothered me for a while. They have mercury in them, so they are more hazardous to just throw out. But I didn’t know how to handle it.

But there’s a story on one of my local news station’s website about how we’re supposed to handle them. I actually hadn’t been aware that in San Diego it is against the law to throw out fluorescent bulbs. For city residents, the landfill has a hazardous material disposal site where you can make a Saturday appointment to get rid of your bulbs.

But I’m not within San Diego limits. Fortunately, it turns out that Ikea does fluorescent bulb recycling too. Now this is not exactly convenient to me, as they’re at least a half hour drive away if traffic is good. But I certainly like that they offer this service.

I’d love to see other retail stores offer this kind of service. Walmart, Target and Home Depot immediately come to mind as places that sell the bulbs. Be very handy if they helped with the disposal too.

Of course, the ideal to me would be to have a way for them to go with the other trash. I don’t know how this would be handled with sufficient safety, but if it were simply a matter of putting out the fluorescent bulbs with the rest of the trash life would be much simpler and we could be more certain of people taking the time to dispose of them correctly.

For now, I’ll just have to keep Ikea in mind. I guess if I get compact fluorescents I’ll have to find a place to keep the burnt out ones until I know I’ll be going down near Ikea anyhow. Certainly doesn’t make sense to make a special trip just for that if it can be combined with other errands.