Church leaders and staff, like pretty much everyone else, is probably used to simply tossing old light bulbs in the trash. According to WFM environmental reporter Drew Robinson, that habit can have serious consequences for the environment and on our health. Here, his quick tips for how to safely dispose of and recycle used bulbs.
Consequences of poor disposal:
1. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury that can be released into the environment if they end up in a landfill or an incinerator.
2. If CFLs are recycled, not only could the mercury release be avoided, but according to the EPA, virtually all parts of the bulb can be reused.
3. In seven states, recycling CFLs is actually the law of the land.
How to dispose properly:
Many areas contain recycling centers. Visit Earth911.com to find a recycling center near you. Many retail stores also offer recycling services. The following chains offer these services, but it is important to check with your individual store.
CFLs use less energy and last longer, helping both the consumer and the environment. With this great innovation, though, is the great responsibility to properly recycle these bulbs.
[Editor's note: Watch for writer Drew Robinson's complete essay, "Disposing Hell," in the Summer issue of Worship Facilities Magazine, print and digital.]
Drew Robinson is program coordinator at Blessed Earth, a nonprofit focusing on inspiring and equipping Christians to become better stewards of the earth. Prior to joining Blessed Earth, he led the Good Steward Campaign, an initiative organizing young Evangelicals towards greater awareness and activism addressing environmental stewardship and climate change. He can be reached at email@example.com.