Jacobs Encourages Residents to Dispose of Their CFL Light Bulbs Safely at IKEA

Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) wants all residents to know that, although new compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) last longer and use less energy than conventional light bulbs, they contain small amounts of mercury and need to be disposed of properly.

“Saving energy and money is something that every resident is interested in to say the least,” Jacobs said. “However, because these light bulbs do contain mercury, it is essential that they are not thrown away in the garbage. If one of these CFLs were to break, the toxic metal would be exposed to the environment.”

Exposure to mercury can also affect our brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver, causing symptoms such as trembling hands, memory loss, and difficulty moving.

To facilitate the safe disposal of CFLs in Nassau County, IKEA set up a disposal station at its Hicksville location. Since 2001, IKEA remains the only major retailer in the U.S. to spearhead such a program. In their fiscal 2006 year, IKEA recycled 156,301 pounds of CFLs.

“I am encouraging everyone who uses CFLs in their home to remember that the only environmentally safe way to get rid of the used bulbs is to bring them to IKEA,” Jacobs said. “You helped the environment by purchasing a more efficient light bulb. Keep that approach by safely disposing of them.”