In a recent article about florescent bulbs, the mercury hazard was brought to the forefront in using compact florescent bulbs. Despite this possible hazard, these light bulbs are still excellent for saving energy.
Knowledge must be the key in dealing with its disposal. We must all do our duty of throwing it away properly, once it has done its duty in saving energy.
Burned Out – Energy Star recommends that consumers check local recycling programs to locate the appropriate disposal means in your own area. This can be done through the local municipal solid waste agency.
Some states allow these bulbs to be thrown in the regular trash, but guidelines are given. They ask that these bulbs, broken or burned out, be placed in two plastic bags and put in the outside trash to be picked up. And never use an incinerator on them.
And an interesting tidbit of knowledge is the Energy Star qualified bulbs actually have a warranty that they will replace bulbs that do not burn the length that is claimed.
Broken – Tips were given on how to clean up broken bulbs in the previous article mentioned. But here are more details on procedures given by Energy Star.
If the bulb breaks on a hard surface, do the following:
1. When broken, immediately open windows and leave the room for 15 minutes to let it air out.
2. Using rubber gloves that can be thrown away, scoop up fragments and powders with stiff paper or cardboard and put in a plastic bag to be thrown away. A wet paper towel can assist in the last of the tiny pieces.
3. Do not vacuum or sweep these bulb remains up, even if they break on a hard surface. You will contaminate your vacuum or broom.
4. Again, place this trash in a second plastic bag, as recommended earlier, and then into an outdoor trash.
5. Wash your hands.
If the bulb breaks on carpet, do the following:
1. Again, wear disposable rubber gloves. Remove all the broken fragments and powder that you can with a duct tape, or something similar.
2. If vacuuming is necessary, be sure to throw away the bag or empty and wipe out the container with a wet paper towel.
3. Then dispose all of these items into two plastic bags and put into an outdoor trash.
Helpful – With the correct knowledge in using these bulbs, they can still be a great way to help the environment, as long as we handle them properly from beginning to end.