(bulbs and tubes)
Fluorescent lamps are one of the most energy efficient lighting sources available. They use one-quarter of the energy used by incandescent lamps for the same amount of light and last as much as ten times longer. However, they contain mercury, which is highly toxic to the human nervous system. It also is persistent and can bioaccumulate in fish and birds when it is released to the environment. When fluorescent lamps are recycled, the component parts can be separated and any hazardous materials can be managed properly to avoid any environmental contamination. Fluorescent lighting cannot be disposed as garbage in Snohomish County and must be taken to a collection location for proper recycling. Retailers, Snohomish PUD and Snohomish County Solid Waste Division provide a number of recycling locations for fluorescent lighting. We are working to establish producer responsibility for fluorescent lighting which should result in even more recyling locations in the future.
Retailer Take-Back Locations
Bartell Drugs is the first drugstore chain in the Northwest to provide FREE recycling of expired fluorescent CFL (compact fluorescent) lightbulbs at all 56 of its locations as part of a new pilot recycling program. Bartell's customers can bring CFL bulbs to any store location for environmentally-friendly recycling of the bulbs. Bartell's will accept mini-twists, flood, globe, 3-way bulbs and other CFL bulbs. Fluorescent tubes lights are not accepted at this time. For a complete list of Bartell's locations in Snohomish, King, and Peirce counties, please visit http://www.bartelldrugs.com
Home Depot has become the first major retailer to establish FREE in-store collection of expired fluorescent CFL bulbs. Customers can simply bring in any expired, unbroken CFL bulb, and give them to the store associate behind the returns desk. The bulbs will then be managed responsibly by an environmental management company who will coordinate CFL packaging, transportation and recycling to maximize safety and ensure environmental compliance. For more information about this program, visit the Home Depot website at www.homedepot.com/ecooptions.
Snohomish PUD Collection Sites
On October 7, 2008, Snohomish County PUD announced six new recycling stations for compact flourescent light (CFL) bulbs. The utility will now accept residents' unbroken, burned-out CFL bulbs at all of its office locations in Snohomish County. Click here for locations to the six offices that will accept unbroken CFLs: Electric Building Headquarters, Arlington, Monroe, South County, Snohomish and Stanwood.
Snohomish County Solid Waste Collection Sites
Fluorescent bulbs and tubes are not accepted as garbage, but Snohomish County residential customers can take limited quantities (up to 12) of their used fluorescent bulbs and tubes to Snohomish County Solid Waste facilities, free of charge. Residential customers may also bring their used fluorescent bulbs, tubes and lamp ballasts to the Household Hazardous Waste facility located at 3434 McDougall, Everett for proper disposal.
Businesses may call the Moderate Risk Waste facility at 425 388-6050, for recycling options.
For other retail options outside Snohomish County, visit the Take-It-Back network site for your county.
Fluorescent lighting contains mercury and should be handled with care and not broken. If you accidentally break a tube or bulb, EPA has provided clean-up recommendations.