One objection to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that people often raise is the problem of disposing of them safely due to the mercury they contain. Mercury is a toxin that is particularly dangerous to the developing brains of children (and babies in utero) and is suspected of posing a heart risk to adults. The amount in CFLs is quite small and is sealed off in any case, but could pose some risk if bulbs are broken when disposed of. As a result, many towns have special facilities where used bulbs can be dropped off, but it’s extra trouble to locate the facilities and bring the bulbs there, and many people don’t want to bother.
I was therefore delighted to learn that you can now recycle CFLs at any Home Depot store. It doesn’t matter what the brand is or where you bought it as long as the bulb is intact. Home Depot says recycling is handled responsibly by an environmental management company to “maximize safety and ensure environmental compliance.”
CFLs last years before expiring so this isn’t a problem you face often, but it’s helpful to know one easy place to go when you do.