Waste Management Corporation’s “EarthMate” compact fluorescent light bulbs come in a postage-paid box so you can send them back for recycling after they’ve burned out. Included is a “Mercury VaporLok” container so that there will be no mercury spill if the light bulb breaks in transit.
Lloyd Alter at TreeHugger.com likes the idea, but adds this caveat:
Of course, this costs money; they are charging $34 for a four-pack of bulbs, where Home Depot is selling 14 bulbs for $40 and offers recycling. That is too big a spread.
If Mr. Alter really cared about the environment, this price difference would be a small price to pay. Environmentalists talk a good game, but it’s mostly just talk. Only 2% of compact fluorescent light bulbs are recycled in the United States, even though they contain mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin and one of the most toxic chemicals known to man.