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WM Offers Curbside CFL Recycling In CA

Disposal of CFLs is a nationwide concern.  WM believes the ease of curbside recycling will encourage use of the energy-saving bulbs.

Last year, Waste Management, one of the largest waste disposal companies in the U.S., began a pilot program for curbside collection and recycling of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

The initiative, which began in Rolling Hills Estates, California, last July, is a step that may help decrease overall energy usage by encouraging the use of CFLs.

CFLs use just one-quarter of the energy of traditional incandescent light bulbs. By switching to CFLs, consumers can lower their household energy costs and reduce their environmental impact. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that if every household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, the U.S. would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes and save more than $600 million in energy costs annually.

However, since CFLs contain small amounts of mercury, they must be recycled in a specific way to protect public health and the environment, according to California law.  Disposal of CFLs has long been seen as the largest impediment to large scale adoption of the energy-saving bulbs.

But through the new program, Waste Management will mail a specially designed Mercury VaporLok® container to Rolling Hills Estates customers.  The container, which can hold up to 13 CFLs, is suitable to both store and transport the discarded bulbs. And, residents can schedule a free pickup to coincide with any regularly scheduled curbside service.

Curbside recycling has already proved to be a wonderful incentive to increase recycling rates.  Adding the ease of curbside recycling for CFLs to the program just makes good sense.

About Sebrina Zerkus Smith

Professional writer, foodie. Lupus survivor. Loves pugs, wine, days at the beach and good movies. Takes recycling seriously, but not much else. Sebrina Zerkus Smith is a Southern Gal that has been scratching the writer’s itch for nearly 30 years. Her career began in Washington, D.C., in 1987, fresh out of collage and full of ideals. While plying her trade by day on congressional reps and senators, at night she burned the candle writing features for local newspapers and national magazines. She quickly realized that her southern upbringing gave her a unique and humorous voice that resonated with her readers. Eventually, she moved to Los Angeles where she pursued her dream of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. She paid her bills by working as a freelance writer for major marketing projects from studios such as CBS, NBC and Disney. Realizing that the future of writing lay with the internet, she was bitten by the blogging bug back in the 90’s, back before it was even called “blogging.” Then it was still just writing and trying to make a living. Through those early blogging years, Sebrina found passion and purpose. Over the past 10 years she has written articles for clients such as LightCues.com, MatterMore.com, Greenopolis, MacAddict, Yahoo, CNN and more. Today, Sebrina writes about a variety of topics including the Southern Experience, sustainability, clean water, food, gardening, sleep and her obsession with pugs. She is a regular paid contributor to WildOats.com as well as other entities. She now lives in Houston with her husband Jeff and their pug Newton. She hopes one day to complete her opus, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.

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