Wal-Mart to Host Fluorescent Light Recycling Day in Five States

We've taken note of Wal-Mart's plan to sell 100 million compact fluorescent light bulbs by the end of this year, and its partnership with manufacturers to lower the mercury content in the energy-efficient bulbs. This week, the company announced yet another initiative related to the swirly bulbs: tomorrow, Wal-Mart stores, Supercenters and Sam's Clubs in California, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Tulsa, Oklahoma will hold a fluorescent light bulb recycling day. Consumers can drop off either CFLs or fluorescent tube bulbs from 8 to 4 at kiosks outside the stores. Wal-Mart is hosting the free bulb take-back with Waste Management’s WM LampTracker, Inc.

This event, and Wal-Mart's other sustainability initiatives, continue to win praise from sustainable business advocates (though, in fairness, groups like Wal-Mart Watch and Wake Up, Wal-Mart have labeled them distractions). In response to the announcement of the take-back event, friend of Treehugger Joel Makower told the Twin Cities' Pioneer Press "This is one part of a larger effort Wal-Mart's been undertaking to show some green leadership, and they have an uncanny knack for green initiatives that really help build sales where they can really combine doing well with doing good."There's no doubt that even this event will help the company build sales: many people dropping off bulbs for recycling are also likely to browse the stores... maybe for more CFLs. That's OK -- if the world's largest retailer can demonstrate that going green means better business, others are sure to follow. That's one kind of "Wal-Mart effect" we can live with...

We hope this event represents a pilot project by the company, and that this initiative will spread beyond this limited (though, no doubt, still big) test. Wal-Mart's as capable as any entity of showing that the minimal amount of mercury in fluorescent bulbs can be handled safely and effectively, and that consumers shouldn't shy away from these little energy-saving wonders for fear of how to handle CFLs at the end of their useful life. ::TwinCities.com and WalMartFacts.com

Tags: Recycling | Walmart

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