Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recycling Needs to be Easier

A while back one of my CFL light bulbs went out.  You know the squiggly kind that is more energy efficient and lasts longer than regular light bulbs.  I knew they contained mercury so I was hesitant to throw it in the garbage.  After doing a little research, it turns out these light bulbs should not be put in the garbage and should be recycled properly because of the substances inside.

So I did a little research to find where to recycle them.  I found a couple places including a local light bulb and batter chain that offered recycling services.  So I held on to the light bulb until I would finally be in that area to drop it off. 

A few weeks later I was going to be in that area so I brought the light bulb as well as a spent battery to recycle.  I go in and tell the person working there that I have the bulb and battery to recycle.  He tells me that it is going to cost 60 cents to recycle the light bulb. Excuse me?  You want me to pay 60 cents to recycle a light bulb?  I just held on to this thing for several weeks and made the trip over here just to try to do the right thing for the environment and they are going to charge 60 cents?  Who is going to pay that?

I sure was not, so I decided to hold on to the bulb.  I gave them the battery which they accepted for free.  As the title above says, recycling need to be easier.  It it also needs to be free in cases like this.  Most people would rather throw a light bulb in the garbage than have to drive somewhere and pay some one to recycle it. 

Recycling electronics is not always easy either.  You really have to do your research to find a place that will recycle certain electronics.  A lot of times communities will have recycle days for free, but they are often only a few times a year.  Some big stores will recycle electronics but they will often charge a fee.  People want to do the right thing that is best for the environment, but with examples like this, it is not very motivating to recycle.

If you have any thoughts on this issue or suggestions for places that recycle, feel free to share them in the comments below.

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