It’s Daylight Saving Time this weekend, and in addition to changing your clocks, you can help the environment.
After you set your clocks forward an hour Saturday night before you go bed and change those smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries, officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, hope you start a new tradition by properly recycling compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
The bulbs contain mercury and should not be tossed in the trash. If the bulbs get broken in the normal waste stream, they can release mercury into the environment, which can contaminate the food chain.
In a news release, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection Director Adam Ortiz said many people do not know or have forgotten how to dispose of CFL bulbs.
“We have made great progress in getting residents and businesses to use CFLs over incandescent lightbulbs. Ironically, because these bulbs are so energy efficient, they are replaced less often,” Ortiz said.
“With the Recycle CFLs initiative, we hope to educate the public that CFLs should be handled carefully and disposed of properly at all times,” he said.
Nationwide, more than 670 million mercury-containing bulbs are improperly discarded each year
Montgomery County accepts compact fluorescent lightbulbs at its Household Hazardous Waste drop off at the Shady Grove Processing Facility. That’s located at 16101 Frederick Road in Derwood.
Virginia’s Fairfax County also accepts the bulbs at its transfer stations. One is located at 4618 West Ox Road in Fairfax. The other at 9850 Furnace Road in Lorton.