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The Eco-Friendly Way to Recycle Used UV Bulbs

recycle uv bulbsAt Pelican Water, me make it our mission to conduct business and provide top quality water filtration systems to the families of America while striving to reduce our carbon footprint and maintain eco-friendly practices. If there’s an environmentally friendly option, it’s always the way to go in our book!

Beyond our business practices, we also seek to educate our customers on eco-friendly practices they can use in their day-to-day lives. Sure, you may already be saving energy and water by using a Pelican whole house filter, but there are many other steps you can take to reduce waste and conserve resources.

UV light bulbs (professionally called UV lamps) are great around the house for reptile care, home tanning beds, and for water filtration, among other uses. It’s likely you may have a UV light bulb in your home right now. But did you know that UV bulbs contain mercury? This makes their waste potentially dangerous, and UV bulbs therefore must be disposed of properly.

Many states in the U.S. now require citizens to recycle UV light bulbs. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the following U.S. states require UV bulbs to be recycled upon use: California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington. Even if you don’t currently live in one of these states, the most eco-friendly choice is to recycle these bulbs.

Depending on where you live, several hardware stores may offer programs that allow you to drop off used UV bulbs at their store locations. Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware all now have such programs implemented to assist customers. Be sure to call ahead, though, as many locations do not offer these services and a drive there to find out wastes precious resources.

Another option is to purchase a mail-back kit. Though this involves an added expenditure, mailing the bulbs directly to the manufacturer once they’re used is the most direct way to deliver the bulbs to where they’ll ultimately be reused. The postage is covered in the cost of the kit, so the total cost to you isn’t as high as it may seem.

The best option for recycling UV bulbs is to locate the nearest recycling facility in your area. As more and more families in America become educated on the proper disposal of UV and fluorescent bulbs, more and more options and facilities exist for them to choose from. Earth911 offers a complimentary search engine where you can find the nearest recycling solution to your home.

If you can’t find a location near you to recycle your UV bulbs and have no recourse, you may seal the bulb in a plastic bag and dispose of it in your regular trash if doing so isn’t illegal where you live. However, if it is, your last option is to find a hazardous household waste facility in your area. Mercury is dangerous – recycle UV light bulbs to protect our environment and to be eco-friendly.

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