Where to recycle light bulbs?

Published 1:49 pm Saturday, December 8, 2012

Last week I called Freeborn County Environmental Services asking where I could recycle one of the new CFL bulbs. I was told that the mobile recycling center was closed for the winter. I asked if no bulbs burned out during the months between September and May, and therefore they were closed for the winter. The answer was no. She explained that the mobile station was like a horse trailer, and it was too cold to man during the winter months.

So I asked if I could bring it to the transfer station in town. She explained that was a city function and the mobile recycle station was a county function. So I asked if the county could not park the mobile recycling station at the transfer center. She did not know.

It could appear to me that the government has again not planned for the future in requiring that these hazardous bulbs have to be used. They can cause fires and if broken can inflict great harm to a human being, even to the point of killing the person.

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Let’s just suppose that there are children or an older individual in the house and while moving the bulb waiting for the recycle center to open and the bulb becomes damaged and causes great harm to a child or person. What’s is the government’s response? More training.

It appears to me that they spend more time and money training persons to deal with a mishap than it would cost to have a contract with the city to take these recyclables. I have in my possession a training newsletter for a fire department in Maryland that shows the horrible effects of a mishap with such a bulb. Many hours of training and still people experience devastating effects when a mishap occurs.

Let’s get back to a safe bulb that has been maligned for its small additional use of electricity. Most people could save the difference by turning off lights in the rooms that are not being used. How many houses have you driven by that have all the lights in the house on? I would guess a lot. It would make more sense to me to turn off the lights not being used with an environmentally safe bulb than to expose myself to the hazards of the CFL bulb.


Helen Gold

Albert Lea