The District’s recycling centers now accept plastics #1-#7. This includes most food and beverage containers, prescription drug bottles, clear to-go food containers, yogurt cups and most other plastic containers with the #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 in the chasing arrow recycling symbol on the bottom. This DOES NOT include thick, hard plastics like toys, yard ornaments, garden hose, cafeteria trays, baskets, plates, bowls, and utensils. These items contaminate the recycling and fill out the bins quickly which is frustrating to other residents and can become an eye sore for the host location when overflowing occurs. Always recycle responsibly. If you are unsure, please contact the District.
Mercury in a CFL isn’t dangerous as long as the bulb doesn’t break. But burning coal always releases mercury, which ends up in the air, the soil, and the water. While we’d like there to be no mercury in a CFL, at least fluorescents have a comparatively tiny amount. I think it’s a good trade.
Unbroken CFLs should be recycled, which can be challenging in many places. Start by going to www.epa.gov/cfl for info. Broken bulbs should be cleaned up and thrown away. Click on the “read more” box below for instructions on how to properly clean up a broken fluorescent light.
Compact-fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury. About 4 mg of mercury is contained within a compact-fluorescent bulb. This amount is about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen. Standard 4-ft. fluorescent tubes contain 10 times that much. Neon lights have 25 times as much, and a standard residential wall-mounted thermostat contains 750 times as much.
How to clean up a broken fluorescent light. If a fluorescent tube or compact-fluorescent bulb breaks in your home, don’t just reach for the vacuum cleaner. Instead, follow the EPA’s cleanup instructions:
If a fluorescent tube breaks on a hard surface:
If a fluorescent tube breaks on a carpet: