Monday, August 11, 2008

Planting Your Bulbs

They're great. They save you money on your ConEd each month. They're not as hot. They're super bright (not always the most flattering though). Most importantly - they are better for the environment. Here are some suggestions on recycling them.

While increasingly more retailers are selling compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs), options for recycling spent bulbs have been few and far between. But the number of drop-off sites jumped by nearly 2,000 this past June when the Home Depot, the nation’s largest home improvement retailer, started a free CFL collecting/recycling program at each of its U.S. stores; a similar program at Canadian stores started last fall. Currently, Ikea is the only other retailer to collect the bulbs nationally. CFLs should be recycled so that the mercury they contain isn't released into the environment. Each bulb contains about 5 milligrams or less of mercury, a neurotoxin, or about 1 percent of the amount in an old-fashioned thermometer.

Bring spent, unbroken CFLs to Home Depot or Ikea. There’s no fee, and the stores will accept any CFLs, even those you didn’t buy from them.

Ace Hardware also collects CFLs at select locations.

Sylvania has a mail-in program, but it's pricey. See The bulb is in the mail.

You can drop them at a NYC Department of Sanitation CFL and other special waste drop-off site:
BROOKLYN: Bay 41st Street and Gravesend Bay, south of the Belt Parkway (adjacent to the DSNY Brooklyn 11 garage).

MANHATTAN: DSNY garage at 605 West 30th Street, between 11th & 12th Avenue.

Here's when you can do it in 08:
August 2008
August 2, 9, 16, 23, August 29

September 2008
September 6, 13, 20, 26

October 2008
October 4, 11, 18, 25, 31

November 2008
November 8, 15, 22, 28

December 2008
December 6, 13, 20, 26
*Please note: Special Waste sites will not be open November 1

The Special Waste Drop-off Sites operate on a “do-it-yourself” basis. Department personnel will then instruct residents to empty their Special Wastes into labeled storage containers. After emptying their Special Wastes, residents are expected to deposit their empty paint cans, corrugated cardboard, and any trash into designated containers for proper recycling and/or disposal.

Also, as a last resort - hang on to them. Changes are CFL recycling will become more widely available in NYC soon.

Source: Consumer Report's GreenerChoices

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