"Fluorescent Bulb Recycling"

By KBJR News 1

September 29, 2010 Updated Sep 30, 2010 at 8:00 AM CDT

Posted by Jeff Edmondson

Fluorescent bulbs have a long lifespan, but it's illegal to throw them in the trash when they break or burn out.

So how should you get rid of them?

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson has the answer in "Your Green Life."

Fluorescent lighting has been around since 1896 and while they've undergone some changes their fundamental principle has not.

"Compact fluorescent bulbs are a great choice environmentally because they use about 75 percent less energy over the course of their lifetime", said Sarah Lerohl. Environmental Program Coordinator at WLSSD.

If you've been using florescent bulbs for awhile you probably have a few that have reached the end of their life.

No matter what shape or size you fluorescent bulb is. You can recycle it here at the Household Hazardous Waste Site for free at WLSSD.

"There is no cost and no limit to the amount of compact fluorescent bulbs and other fluorescent tubes that residents can bring here to WLSSD", said Lerohl.

A couple tips...when you take a bulb in for recycling, be careful about how you pack it in the car. All fluorescent lamps contain a small amount of mercury and can become vaporous if the glass is broken. The best way is to put the CFL bulb in a sealed bag...that way if they break you're still safe.

"Fluorescent bulbs can be recycled in their entirety. So glass can be, any of the components of the metal, and the ballasts. The entire unit can be recycled", said Lerohl.

The idea of recycling is that the mercury is carefully captured to ensure that none of it gets into the environment. In Duluth, Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, The Northlands NewsCenter.

A complete list of Recycling centers can be found at: www.earth911.org Search for: CFL Recycling.

Below are a few around the Northland:

Twin Ports:

  • WLSSD Household Hazerdous Waste Facility 2626 Courtland St Duluth, MN (Thurs-Sun)
  • Menards West Duluth & Hermantown

Iron Range:

  • St. Louis County Household Hazardous Waste Facility

5345 Regional Landfill Rd

Virginia, MN

  • Embarrass Solid Waste Canister

7530 Koski Road

Embarrass, MN

International Falls:

  • Menards

1985 Valley Pine Circle

International Falls, MN

Northern Wisconsin:

  • Washburn County Recycling Program Drop-off Site

US Highway 53

Minong, WI 54859