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See the Light on CFL Recycling

Disposing CFLs can be as hazardous as traditional fluorescents, and with millions sold each day, retailers who do their research can benefit from developing a recycling plan.

But more independent retail operations are starting to look into recycling for not only CFLs but batteries, printer cartridges and thermometers which contain dangerous mercury.

The first step to launching a recycling plan is to check with your distributors or vendors for suggestions or resources on safe disposal. Then browse through some of the suggestions for safe recycling below for more information and ideas.

  • Your local garbage service is one of the best places to start. See what is offered in your area by calling a customer service number located online or on your monthly statement.
  • Your local municipality is ultimately responsible for waste disposal. Try contacting sanitation services in your area. If your town doesn’t offer curbside pickup, your municipally may suggest a designated drop-off location or periodic CFL collections.
  • Go online. Visit sites like www.Earth911.com, an online clearinghouse of recycling information, and www2.epa.gov/cfl.
  • There are a variety of commercial companies that provide CFL and fluorescent bulb disposal by mail. Most services will send you a handy, postage-paid plastic pail which will accommodate several CFLs. The downside is that the service is quite expensive.

About Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell was an assistant editor of Hardware Retailing and NRHA. Amanda regularly visited with home improvement retailers across the country and attended industry events and seminars. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ball State University and has received honors for her work for Hardware Retailing from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

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