Although fluorescent light bulbs and tubes have trace amounts of mercury in them, they actually help reduce mercury emissions from power plants. Why? A substantial part of the electricity in MA is made by burning coal. Coal naturally contains mercury that is released when burned. Because fluorescent lamps use so much less electricity, the mercury that is in them is actually less than what would have been released into the air at the coal power plant if regular bulbs had been used. As fluorescent light bulbs and tubes do contain a small amount of mercury and mercury is highly toxic, the EPA has set disposal regulations on the disposal of fluorescents.
These popular chain retailers will take your used CFLs at no cost to you:
- Ace Hardware
- The Home Depot
- True Value Hardware
- Whole Foods Market