Ask Joe: How to dispose of new energy efficient light bulbs ?

Reported by: Joe Hart
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Updated: 1/21/2014 6:18 pm
One of our viewers has a question about the new light bulbs we are gradually switching to in an effort to become more energy efficient.
Gary in Carson City wrote in asking how are we supposed to dispose of the new energy efficent light bulbs when they burn out ? He says he's concerned because they have mercury in them, which makes them a  hazardous product.

I checked with Phil Ulibarri over at the Washoe County Health Department.  He is checking into it and in the meantime he referred me to an article published recently spelling out some of the guidelines for disposing of the new energy efficent bulbs.
The bulbs do in fact contain small amounts of mercury which can be hazardous if it leaks or if you come in contact with it.
  The first bit of advice is to seal the bulb inside two plastic bags or one thick freezer bag before throwing it out.  And you should only throw it in the trash if you have no other options.
   What you are supposed to do is find a recycling center that handles hazardous materials.  There are a number of privately run reclycing facilities listed in the phone book.
I asked Phil at the health department for some information on this and i'm still waiting to hear back.  I know the county does provide this service occasionally but it will be interesting to see if that changes now that we are switching to the new energy efficient bulbs.
   I'll keep you posted and follow up when I find out more.

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BDeckwa - 5/30/2014 7:15 PM
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We don't need to have polluting products from China. We could use LED lights in lieu of these polluters. If one goes out you get the smell of wiring burning in your house. Just buy something else that is just as efficient.

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