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Monday, November 7, 2011

Recycling Light Bulbs - Why CFLs Must Be Recycled

LinkLight bulbs are at the top of our energy efficiency list. There is a big drive to encourage people to stop using the old incandescent bulbs, which waste a large percentage of electricity burned in heat, and replace them with more energy efficient bulbs. CFLs have been promoted as the solution. Compact fluorescent bulbs use less energy and last longer than the old light bulb, but they have one serious drawback. They contain mercury.

Mercury is a toxic substance, dangerous to humans and animals. Each CFL contains about 5 mg of mercury. If released into the environment this tiny amount of mercury is enough to contaminate up to 6000 gallons of water, so that it is no longer safe to drink. That is just one bulb. Imagine the impact if we all started disposing of our CFLs in the trash. Landfills could be leaching mercury into the water table at an alarming rate.

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