So I got this email from a reader, and I even replied to it but the email kept bouncing back to me. I’m sure plenty of you have the same question, so here’s the email and my answer.
“I read the article about CFL light bulbs and the 5 things you should know, but can you provide where to dispose of the CFL and also batteries. I am saving so many used batteries and I don’t know where to dispose of them, can you provide a link or something because I’m starting to feel that CNN effect how you flirt with something but don’t take any further. Please!! I would greatly appreciate it.” –S.
Firstly, I appreciate your effort to dispose of your CFLs and batteries responsibly as I did recommend you not just throw them out! About half the states in the Unites States have laws on disposal and recycling of electronics and several states are considering doing the same. Recycling electronics helps reduce pollution that would be generated while manufacturing a new product and the need to extract valuable and limited virgin resources. Also, improperly disposing of electronics, CFLS and batteries could contaminate our groundwater and drinking water when chemicals leak out of them in landfills.
And secondly, I appreciate you readership of my site and contacting me about this. As far as the batteries are concerned that may depend on where you live. If you live in the New York City area there are these events with organizations like the Lower East Side Ecology Center where eCycling is made more accessible. You may need to check organizations in your area to see if these events are being held locally. To take things one step further, if there are none in your area you could initiate and organize one yourself. You don’t need an event to eCycle though and you certainly don’t need to live in the New York City area.
If you live elsewhere in the U.S. here’s a map of eCyling places nationwide via epa.gov
Earth 911 focuses on recycling locally so all you need to do is type in your address and they will provide resources for you. Here are a few other organizations the EPA recommends for you to eCycle or donate your used electronics locally.
Also, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends you go to your local Best Buy electronics store. This is where I go to dispose of my batteries, electronics and computer parts if I can’t make I to a Lower East Side Ecology Center event and it’s actually easier this way.
Some eCyling companies are also scams! I can only advise you to do your due diligence, research, and ask questions about where your eWaste will ultimately end up.
As far as CFLs are concerned the EPA recommends you visit Earth911.com, check hardware supply stores and other retailers that may offer in-store recycling, and even mailing the bulbs back to their manufacturers if that’s facilitated by the manufacturer. You may need to check that before buying them and consider buying CFLs only from those companies.
Thanks for the email!
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