Compact fluorescent lights or CFL lights are the new breed of low energy consumption, high light output light bulbs in the market today. It's long lasting, it's energy efficient, and it's cost effective, that is why more and more households all over the world are switching to CFL lights from traditional incandescent lights. CFL lights are also environmental friendly in the sense that it reduces energy consumption. However, CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury which can harm the environment once it breaks. Disposing the bulb properly helps prevent the mercury from seeping into our natural resources such as the water that we drink. Recycling a CFL bulb might take quite a little more work than merely tossing it into a recycling container or taking it to your local recycling facility, but it's definitely not a difficult task to do. With this, let me share to you the steps on how to properly dispose used CFL lights.
1. Switch off your CFL bulb. This will allow your bulb to cool and it will also prevent electric shocks from happening when you take out the bulb from its socket.
2. Remove the light bulb to its socket by gently rotating the bulb counterclockwise until it loosens up. You may need a ladder or a sturdy stool to be able to reach and remove the bulb safely.
3. Wrap the light bulb with an old newspaper and put it in a box to bring to the recycling center. You have to be careful not to break the glass part of the bulb as this contains the hazardous chemical.
4. Place the bulb in its appropriate bin or better yet give it to the person in charge of the recycling facility. Once it's in its correct place, your used CFL bulb will be recycled safely.
If for some reason your CFL light bulb breaks, it is very important to clean it by sweeping and not by vacuuming. Experts say that there isn't much danger from the mercury as long as you don't inhale it or cut yourself. You can also use rubber gloves to pick up the glass shards safely. It is very important to use a pair of gloves when handling the fragments because direct contact with mercury could definitely cause you some serious trouble. A damp towel can also be used to collect the smaller fragments of the glass. You just have to make sure that you safely dispose the towel and the broken shards of glass once you're done. Once you've cleaned up all the glass fragments, let the room air out for about an hour to remove any mercury vapors left. If there's no window nearby, you can use a fan to air it out.
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