In my last entry I raised three questions about Compact Flourescent Light bulbs aka CFL’s
1) What about regular fluorescent tubes? They have mercury too, and sometimes in greater quantity.
2) How do you dispose of these bulbs in they have mercury in them. If you put them in regular trash are you guilty of a crime?
3) Has the hazmat materials response to mercury gotten out of hand?
An astute reader pointed out that for questions 1 and 2, there indeed is a problem. Apparently CFL’s are categorized “universal waste” and shouldn’t be thrown away in the
regular trash under a 2004 state law.
Here’s a list of things that the state doesn’t want you to throw away in your regular trash:
But there is some ahem, “good” news, and that is that you can take your CFL’s and flourescent tubes out to the hazwaste disposal site at the airport. Like many “household hazardous waste” materials (now including
batteries), Butte County takes bulbs at its recycling facility at the
airport, details here: http://www.recyclebutte.net/hhw.html
Given that disposing of CFL’s requires special handling, I think high efficiency LED bulbs are the answer, I don’t want to put my family in the position of breaking a law for accidental disposal in regular household trash