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Old 12-17-2007, 08:16 PM   #1
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Disposing of PC Bulbs?

Yes, I know that you are NOT supposed to just throw away PC bulbs because they have mercury in them...

Does anyone know where I can recycle them? I live in the Chicago Suburbs, if anyone knows of a local place.

thanks,
~mike
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:04 PM   #2
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My township said it was ok to throw the used PC bulbs in the garbage. My bulbs are small (length is 12 inches or less) so maybe that's why. They say they do monitor the landfill for mercury. I then asked at Home Depot and Lowe's since they sell the spiral fluorescent bulbs meant to replace incandescents in household lighting. I thought that they would have a recycle bin. Neither of them do. So, I just didn't want to throw my old ones in the garbage. My husband's employer had a "Hazardous Waste Day" where you bring in old paint, pesticides, household chemicals, etc., and that's where he took my old bulbs. You could try calling your garbage or recycling company and see what they suggest.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for caring about the environment!

New York City and its surrounding suburbs all have recycling programs and special procedures for collecting hazardous household waste. I'm sure that the Chicago metro area does too.

I would check with your town or county website. There may be a place to drop off the bulbs.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by An t-iasg
My township said it was ok to throw the used PC bulbs in the garbage. My bulbs are small (length is 12 inches or less) so maybe that's why. They say they do monitor the landfill for mercury. ...
8O

I know you're just repeating what your township told you, but WOW. I guess as long as you "monitor", it's OK to knowingly add mercury to a landfill. I wonder if they let you bury your used oil too?! Glad to hear you went the hazardous waste route. Not sure what they actually do with it though... probably ship it to some unfortunate third-world country.

I take mine to the mobile hazardous waste dump that our county sponsors. That's the only place in my area that will accept them - knowingly. I'm sure the Chicago area has the same type of program.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:38 PM   #5
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I like to play star wars and have light saber fights! HTH
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachbumin
I like to play star wars and have light saber fights! HTH
im sure the airborne mercury you inhale adds to the delusions that you are Luke Skywalker

on a more pertinent note:
the epa has a webpage for locating permanent disposal centers http://www.epa.gov/bulbrecycling/

im sure there are a number of temporary locations that open up for select weekends, but the epa page has the permanent locations.

~mike
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:03 AM   #7
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That's an excellent link, Mike. Thanks for posting it!

I did go back and forth a bit with my garbage/recycle co. over the phone. It surprised me because this is usually a progressive township, and I see on that webpage that fluorescent lighting has been considered hazardous in PA since 1999. Maybe the bulbs in question there are the large office ones. It does say that the newer bulbs have less mercury and are not considered hazardous waste. Our township has an electronic recycling day once a year (old TVs, stereos, computers, etc.) but for the CFs I'm glad my husband's employer had a harardous drop-off day. I would really rather do something else with the bulbs besides put them in the garbage. We're using a number of those CF spiral bulbs too instead of incandescent lighting now.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:54 PM   #8
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That's a good point, Anne. The newer CF bulbs contain much less mercury than the older ones. I've also noticed that the prices have come down ALOT in the past few years.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:28 PM   #9
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I'm Deb Yes, the newer bulbs, the website says, have less mercury and are not considered hazardous waste. That was probably why the lady on the phone asked the size and age. But...I still didn't want to throw them in the garbage if I could help it. Hopefully Home Depot or Lowe's will begin a CF recycling program since they sell those kinds of bulbs now.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:59 PM   #10
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LOL! Sorry Deb, - that's I get for jumping back and forth between here and FR!
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:03 PM   #11
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No problem!
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:46 PM   #12
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This thread prompted me to check with the county as I'm about to replace 4 - 36" Actinics. Here is the response I got:
---------------------------
We accept tubes at our HHW program which is currently closed for the winter.
Additional Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Option:
Morris County Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility
The Morris County Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility is willing to accept materials from Somerset County residents on a fee basis. This will provide our residents access to hazardous waste disposal between the county-sponsored collection days.
---------------------------

Guess I need to store them till the spring!
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:42 AM   #13
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Lol for some reason I never throw my bulbs away. I just put them back in the packaging and put the in the attic lol. It's kinda good because I can take them out whenever I want to compare the way a bulb looks to another one, even though the bulbs are 9 months old... I have like a box of them.
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