Proponents of compact fluorescent light bulbs claim they’re cheaper than incandescent light bubs, even though they cost more. “The energy savings over the life of the bulb will more than make up for the expensive purchase price,” is the typical claim.
Have you ever seen a cost calculation that includes the cost of recycling compact fluorescent light bulbs? I haven’t. Why is this relevant? Because CFL bulbs contain mercury, which is very hazardous to our environment. And because recycling these killer light bulbs can be very expensive. You can’t just throw them in your trash — that’s illegal in some states, in addition to being environmentally irresponsible.
LightBulbRecycling.com sells a compact fluorescent light bulb recycling kit for $107.95! Factor that price tag into your cost equation and there’s not a chance that compact fluorescent light bulbs are cheaper than incandescent light bulbs.
Are there cheaper recycling alternatives? You bet. The cheapest alternative is to send your used light bulbs to Washington — to your Congressman, to your Senator, or to EPA headquarters. For the cost of a zip-loc bag and a couple of postage stamps you can sleep at night knowing that your hazardous CFL bulbs are in the hands of the experts in Washington!