Compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs have a number of advantages. They also have a drawback -- they contain mercury. In the trash bins the bulbs break and expose sanitation workers to mercury, a neurotoxin. Mercury also has ill effects in our landfills, where it works its way into soil and ground water.
The Environmental Protection Agency is currently pressuring stores to help with the recycling effort, but few have signed on. For now, the city and other landfill operators should implement recycling programs for these products -- perhaps using successful techniques from efforts like the motor oil recycling program.
Informing CFL purchasers is also important; while I have heard CFL's advantages touted frequently, a chance-caught radio show was the first time I heard of the drawback.
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