Many of us are replacing old light bulbs with more energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs. And the EPA is working with manufacturers and major U.S. retailers to expand recycling options for all mercury-containing light bulbs, including CFLs after they burn out.

For example, Home Depot announced it will now collect CFLs in stores to be recycled. There’s no charge, and they’ll take any CFLs, even ones you didn’t buy from a Home Depot. Just take your spent, unbroken bulbs to the store’s returns desk. The CFLs will be shipped to a recycling company who will recycle the bulbs and properly deal with the mercury inside.

IKEA, the home furnishing store, began their CFL recycling program back in 2001. In 2006, they recycled over 156,000 pounds of CFLs.

The EPA strongly encourages recycling of all fluorescent light bulbs including CFLs. Recycling these light bulbs will reduce the chance that mercury ends up in the environment.

Household hazardous waste collections usually accept all fluorescent light bulbs. So check with your local environmental regulatory agency and/or recycling programs such as for more information.

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