19 answers

Why Is It So Hard to Go Green?

Hi moms. I'm looking into changing some of the lightbulbs in my house to compact fluorescent bulbs, but I have a problem. I can't find any recycling facilities anywhere near my home. Ive heard that you can recycle them at IKEA stores, but the nearest one is over an hour away. I know the bulbs contain mercury, and that's why it's so important to recycle them. The manufacturer I looked at (at a home improvement store) recommended that if you can't recycle, you put spent bulbs into two zipper bags and throw them away with regular garbage. So now, to save on electriciy, I have to decide whether to use the gas and drive 125 miles to recycle the bulbs, or put them into a landfill and contaminate my drinking water with mercury when the zipper bags are punctured or otherwise break down. I know that you can order a recycling kit to mail the bulbs somewhere, but this is prohibitively expensive. Is there a solution here? Maybe the plastic bags will last until the second coming and I won't have to worry about it...

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

If you go to bulbs.com they have a recycling program that allows you to send the bulbs to them. I dont know if that helps at all. Best of luck.

Don't be too quick about getting rid of those light bulbs. Hold on to them for a while if you can. They shouldn't take up too much space.I have switched to the fluorescent bulbs also but I have heard some controversy about them and it is still under probe. One of the things I heard that they may cause skin rashes---and I seem to have sensitive skin and I don't know what is causing my rash. I may have to switch back to the regular light bulbs. So wait a while and see what is the good word on this topic.

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Question, do you have the space to put the bulbs in a pale or storage bin until you go out to IKEA...if you go that way once or twice a year and you have the space...put them in something you can put in your car and carry into the store easily...the point of the bulbs is that they last longer, so if they are doing their job, they shouldn't pile up too much. The idea of using plastic bags to discard them(while I understand it) seems to defeat the purpose of why you bought them in the first place...Another idea...why not goto your local home improvement store or even your town and request the facilities...I know office supply stores give a credit or $ for old ink cartridges...why not ask for the place you but the bulbs help with the recycling of them? I think it's great that you are trying to do what you can to go green...we(my family) do to....we bought the cloth bags so no more plastic(or at least a lot less), and we recycle as much as we can...my kids draw a picture, show me and put it right into the recycle bin(of course we save our favorites)...I think it's a great habit to teach...if you are interested I sell gold canyon candles and they have just come out with a green line of cleaning products...and they are great for the enviroment and smell a lot better than vineger and water. keep on doing what you're doing! Have a great day!

1 mom found this helpful

If you go to this website you can search by your zipcode for places to take the bulbs. http://earth911.org/


1 mom found this helpful

J. I know what you mean. But you know what? The bulbs last ten years so by the time they run out there very well be a recycling area closer to you. So go for it. And in the meantime save money and help the planet.

Hi J.,
Recently, I was talking with a friend and she mentioned that her husband can take old batteries back his place of work. He's a chemist and knows all to well how batteries are being tossed into garbages.

Now, I've offered to take old batteries, ones that would've been tossed, to him.

Ask around. I would even send out notices to the parents of your students!

K. Colello

where I live, onondaga county, NY we have a recycling program. They have hazardus waste collections a few times a year. Contact your trash collector and ask them if they know of a close, and proper facility to dispose of the bulbs. amost people think they are doing good by using electric things, but they dont think about how that electric is produced.. by BURNING COAL. almost every state las less than 1% of the electric generated by "green" facilities. Also, those organic toters... who think they are doing nothing but good for the enviroment. They never think about how many extra high refridgerated trucks, high powered gas guzzeling trucks that are used to keep the food un tarnished. The People who judge you tend to be the most uneducated. Just unplug, turn off, and drive a bit less. It will make a difference. You are doing great. Sorry for the mispellings, I am typing with a squirmy toddler on my lap ;)

You should Call or Yahoo dearch your electric Company

because in CT Connecticut Light and power will come to your house and give you the bulbs for free and take the old ones with them,

you should give them a call,


Hi, please make sure that they are full spectrumcompact fluorescent bulbs. For more detailed information go to this url:

I have often asked the question myself, and I'm a trained environmental planner. One thing that I would do is call your local representative (Mayor, supervisor) and make it an issue. I would even attend a meeting and bring it up. Westchester passed a law recently to require that all public buildings have the new florecents, I do not know to what extent that it affect homeowners, but if I recall correctly, there is a certain date where shops have to stop selling incadecent bulbs. There are recycling places around our area of new york, because all florecent fixtures have mercury, and are required to be recycled. I think it is just a matter of getting something set up to make it easy for the local taxpayers to give the bulbs to our local goverments, and let them transport it...green issues are a tender spot in our area of the northeast, I bet with a little effort you can make a difference...and you just gave me a great idea to pursue for my Town!

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