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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recycling Opportunities: CFL Bulbs, Rechargeable Batteries

Lowe's Recycling
compact fluorescent bulbs, rechargeable batteries, plastic bags

I have never seen a receptacle or heard of a place to recycle CFL bulbs. So, I did a double-take when I saw this bin that also recycles rechargeable batteries and plastic bags. I only have used one CFL, one that stays on for long times. Now, I know what to do with it. Do you have other recycling places I have not seen? Somehow, wrapping a CFL well and sending it off to a landfill just seemed so wrong. 

I can recycle any kind of tuna, soup, or Coke can at the curb or at one of the two salvage places in town for cash. Receptacles for plastic bags are in some grocery stores. The glass recycling place in Huntsville accepted glass after having people drive the glass to their site, yet they did not haul it to Atlanta like they advertised. They received a huge fine and no longer accept glass.  I reuse almost all glass containers I bring into the house.

There is another place I just discovered that takes plastic bags. I think that place recycles only plastic, paper, and cardboard. This town has plentiful opportunities for recycling, except for glass. How are your recycling opportunities? Does your Lowe's have this recycling bin?

Your turn
How are the recycling opportunities in your area? How about a specific CFL recycling bin?


  1. Our county has been pretty good about recycling for years. We sort our curb side bag recycleables, black bag (landfill garbage - unfortunately we still generate some of this in our home) and paper, and also put compostables and yard waste in our green bin. I hope to cut down on green bin use by making a spot to make our own compost as soon as Renoman finds a few spare minutesHe needs to put together a couple of pallet bins for me.

    1. Sue,
      We are supplied with one recycling box and supply our own trash cans. I wish we had your method. You will love a compost pile! I put one together with concrete blocks when I was able to lift concrete blocks. It is only two blocks high and got full of roots from the

  2. Hi Linda! We have recycling bins downtown that I used to haul my stuff to, but it got to be such a hassle for me, I don't utilize them anymore. I use cardboard in my garden paths now, so that's what I do with cardboard. I reuse most glass, but the plastic laundry bottles go into the trash. If our city would give us the curbside pick-up, I believe most people would recycle! I would! I too, saw that bin at Lowe's just the other day and I had to do a double take because I thought it was seeing something else! Now I know where to take those recyclables! Blessings from Bama!

    1. Bama Girl,
      LOL...same reaction as mine at Lowe's! I read on Root Simple the concern with using cardboard in composting--glue might be harmful. Does that apply to paths in the garden? Don't know. I only haul off the Coke cans for the cash. The rest goes into the bin. Driving recycling would be a hassle.

      One thought--fill the detergent bottles with water for emergency commode flushing.

  3. Safely recycling used fluorescent lamps and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) is important for the environment, but also for the health of consumers and handlers who come into contact with them. Exposure to mercury vapors can lead to significant risks including neurological damage. Despite the potential health issues, fluorescent lamps and CFLs are growing steadily in the industrial, commercial and residential markets. They are four to six times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, offer energy cost savings and deliver a longer working life. In order to safely dispose of and recycle used fluorescent lamps and CFLs, they must be properly packaged in an effective mercury-safe storage or shipping container that includes an adsorbent technology.

    A study by Nucon International, Inc., a world-wide leader in providing gas, vapor and liquid phase adsorption solutions for mercury and other contaminants to the nuclear and other industries, found that within mercury-specific packaging with broken lamps inside, vapor levels can reach over 150 to 300 times OSHA’s 8-hour permissible exposure limit. A new, patent-pending adsorbent technology, recently announced at the Air & Waste Management Association’s Conference & Exhibition, can significantly reduce the mercury vapor levels in these storage and recycling packages. Levels were reduced by nearly 60 percent in only 15 minutes and over 95 percent after 12 hours, according to the study. The adsorbent pad is impregnated with powdered, activated carbon and reacted with proprietary inert chemicals, allowing it to effectively capture and reduce the mercury vapor from shattered lamps to a safe level within the shipping and storage package. In addition, the adsorbent can accommodate the high volume of mercury vapor that is released when several or all bulbs in a full package are broken. This provides an added layer of protection against incidental mercury exposure, offering consumers and other handlers a safer way to recycle their used fluorescent lamps and CFLs. A small consumer-size recycling bag, now available, also features this technology and allows people to safely store three to four used lamps at home before taking them to a retailer or municipality that accepts CFLs for recycling.
    View a short animated depiction of the adsorption process at

    Download a detailed White Paper on this technology at

    Purchase consumer CFL recycling bags at

    1. This seems like spam, but it offers a bag to buy to recycle the bulbs. I know it is a purchase....sigh.


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