Sicamous residents now have a place where they can properly dispose of their compact fluorescent light bulbs.
True Value Hard-ware has been established as the community’s recycling location for residential use fluorescent bulbs, including compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs.
“Fluorescents contain trace amounts of mercury which may seem harmless in a single bulb but could cause serious problems considering the number that are used and discarded annually,” says True Value owner Bob Moore. “As soon as we were able, we established our store as a recycling location for our neighbours and customers. Otherwise, the nearest site is Salmon Arm.”
According to the Recycling council of B.C., bulbs returned for recycling are sent to one of four process-ing plants in the province, or to one of five other plants across Canada. There, they are broken down and their parts – glass, aluminum, mercury, plastic, ceramic and other metals – are separated so that nearly 100 per cent of each lamp is recovered and re-used. Columbia Shuswap Regional District waste reduction facilitator Car-men Fennell explains that the recycling of CFL bulbs is covered under a stewardship program.
“Another agency has been charged with the responsibility of managing these products,” says Fennell. “You pay an eco-fee every time you buy one of those bulbs off the shelf. So, by putting it in the garbage and paying for that disposal, you’re essentially paying twice. By returning it to the depot, the people that collected that eco-fee from your initial purchase are now going to use that money to recycle that product.”
Along with the bulbs, True Value also acts as a recycling drop-off for car and truck batteries, dry cell batteries (used in flashlights, toys, electronics, etc.) and cell phone batteries. “There is no charge for the service either to our customers or by us, to Product Care. It is our small contribution to green-ing our community,” says Moore.
Products for recycling can be dropped off anytime during the store’s regular business hours.