Delaware Energy Office Launches Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb Recycling

Sites State Accepting Used Bulbs Beginning Oct. 1

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Dover, DE – The Delaware Energy Office has announced a statewide initiative that begins Oct. 1 to encourage Delawareans to recycle used, unbroken compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs by taking them to a drop-off location for disposal. The recycling initiative is being kicked off in October – National Awareness Month – as a way to engage citizens in an environmentally-conscious activity that will help protect the environment.

“Compact fluorescent light bulbs are an extremely energy-efficient and cost effective lighting option,” said Kevin Yingling, Delaware Energy Office program coordinator. “However, CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, so recycling them is the best way to maximize safety and protect the environment.”

“Mercury is an essential part of CFLs; it allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. A CFL bulb contains an average of 4 milligrams of mercury – about the amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. By contrast, an old thermometer contains about 500 milligrams of mercury the amount equal to the mercury in 125 CFL bulbs. No mercury is released in a landfill, CFL bulbs can release mercury into the environment.

Citizens are encouraged to place used, unbroken CFLs in a plastic sandwich bag and bring them to a drop off location. The bulbs will be packaged and transported to a licensed recycling center where the mercury will be reclaimed and the glass a d metal will be recycled.

The following locations are accepting CFL bulbs beginning Oct.1:

New Castle County

City of New Castle, Municipal Services Commission, 216 Chestnut Street, New Castle, DE 19720

Hours: 7:30am – 4:00 pm; Monday through Friday

City of Newark, Municipal Building, 220 Elkton Road, Newark, DE 19711

Hours: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm; Monday through Friday

Kent County

Delaware Energy Office, 1203 College Park Drive, Suite 101, Dover, DE 19904

Hours: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm; Monday through Friday

DNREC, Richardson & Robbins Building

Fish and Wildlife Licensing Desk, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19904

Hours: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm; Monday through Friday

Sussex County

Delaware Electric Cooperative

14198 Sussex Highway, Greenwood, DE 19950

Hours: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm; Monday through Friday

City of Seaford

414 High Street, Seaford, DE 19973

Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; Monday through Friday

Lewes Board of Public Works

114 W. Third Street, Lewes, DE 19958

Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm; Monday Friday

In addition, the Delaware Solid Waste Authority holds household hazardous waste collection days at locations throughout the state, visit @link href=’http://www.dswa.com/programs_haz_Schedule.asp’target=”_blank”>www.dswa.com/programs_haz_Schedule.asp/link for more information.

Fluorescent bulbs use 66 percent less energy than a standard incandescent bulb. If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a CFL bulb, enough energy would be saved to light more than three million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars annually. Replacing a 60 watt standard bulb with a 13 watt fluorescent bulb will save at least $24 in energy costs over the life of the bulb and last up to ten times longer.

In 2006, the Delaware Energy Office gave away more than 140,000 CFL bulbs as part of the kick-off of the Delaware Energy An$wers Program. The free light bulb campaign, “Flip the Switch, Delaware…and Save!” was a partnership between Delaware Division of Libraries and DNREC’s Energy Office to distribute the bulbs throughout the state.