There is no household, no building, no room and no place where a light bulb is not present. Light bulbs are the sole way which help to illuminate the area. Ever since the pollution of the environment has become an issue, people are adopting more sustainable methods. One of them is by choosing to use light bulbs which use less energy and emit less greenhouse gases or heat. Such light bulbs and fluorescent lighting can last for a great number of years. However, there is never any guarantee that they will not run out of their usage capacity or burn out. What do you do when your light bulb runs out? Throwing them away is not a good choice, as it contributes to the increase in wastage in landfills.
Here are a few reasons why fluorescent bulb recycling should be done rather than throwing them away:
- Many light bulbs, including the compact fluorescent lighting includes mercury in them. It is common knowledge that mercury can easily cause cancer to people who either ingest it by mistake or inhale it mistakenly. Phosphor, another harmful chemical, is also present in most light bulbs. Such lights bulbs, when thrown in the trash, are dumped in landfills. The mercury from the bulbs can seep into the water and contaminate it, which can harm human health. Which is why it is always recommended to handle such light bulbs safely and in a secured environment.
- Fluorescent lamp recycling can be very easily done and it should be done. This is because landfill spaces are quickly filling up day by day. There is less space to throw away garbage however, some of that ‘garbage’ can be easily recycled.
- Too much waste in landfills causes a lot of the chemicals to seep into the soil of the landfills and contaminate the water. This can not only affect humans but also animals and the aquatic life. Which is why waste in landfills should be reduced , starting by recycling light bulbs.
- The materials from the light bulbs can be reused. For example, the aluminum used in making light bulbs can be reused as it takes 90% less energy to process that aluminum rather than the raw materials. The raw materials require more energy to be processed. Moreover the glass from the light bulbs can be recycled and reused as well, saving energy in the process. If light bulbs are not recycled, they will end up in landfills where they can take almost a thousand years to decompose properly.
Many people tend to prefer using compact fluorescent lighting. Although they tend to contain mercury, they are still quite efficient and help save your money on electricity bills. While mercury will still be released into the air, the effects will not be as detrimental.
If you break a light bulb with mercury in it, make sure to open the windows so that you avoid inhaling the vapours. Use a stiff cardboard piece to pick up the broken pieces.