With CFL bulbs quickly replacing incandescent bulbs in homes and businesses there is a growing disposal problem. CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury that if disposed of improperly can end up in the environment. But what do you do with a CFL bulb once it has burned out? Home Depot announced today a major step toward solving this problem. The world’s second largest retailer is going to offer a nationwide in-store CFL recycling program. Anyone with an unbroken CFL bulb will be able to drop the bulb off at any Home Depot store and Home Depot will ensure that the bulb is properly transported and recycled.
“With more than 75 percent of households located within 10 miles of a Home Depot store, this program is the first national solution to providing Americans with a convenient way to recycle CFLs,” said Ron Jarvis, SVP of Environmental Innovation at Home Depot in a company press release.
The New York Times, reporting on the story, quoted experts who believe that the mercury in CFLs is not a problem when compared to their benefits. CFLs actually reduce mercury pollution by limiting the amount of power needed from coal burning power plants that emit mercury. However, any amount of mercury in the environment can be harmful and Home Depot’s recycling program will make CFLs an even more sustainable option than they already are.