In Canada, about 90% of compact fluorescent lightbulbs are being thrown away in normal household waste which can potentially leak mercury causing harm to the environment according to CTV Toronto.
According to the Recycling Council of Ontario most consumers are not safely disposing of the CFL’s that contain around 5mg of mercury each, Around 7 million curly lightbulbs and approximately 9 million fluorescent tubes end up in landfills. According to the Recycling Council, the mercury inside the lights will eventually be released into the environment.
Executive Director of the Recycling Council, Jo-anne St. Godard, said: “I don’t think most consumers know that there’s potentially hazardous material inside a bulb. The release might be instant if it’s in the form of vapour. It could be released over time if it goes into a hazardous landfill and takes some time for the bulb to break down.”
Research has shown that mercury can cause brain damage in ingested or inhaled. The Recycling Council are trying to get Ontario Council to ban it from landfills.
For information on what to do if you break a CFL read our help article.