DP&L wants to buy you some CFL lightbulbs

CFL bulbs on sale at Sam's Club

$1.83 for 6 CFL bulbs courtesy of DP&L

$1.83 for 6 Compact Florescent Bulbs at Sams. That’s 31 cents a bulb. Cheaper than an incandescent.

Can’t pass it up- of course, now instead of DP&L spewing sulfur and Carbon Dioxide into the air- you become the polluter when you dispose of these little mercury containing bulbs.

Let’s just shift the guilt.

DP&L makes a big deal out of how these bulbs will save you money:

To help replace those inefficient, incandescent bulbs, DP&L is offering an average of $1.30 off each compact fluorescent light bulb CFL you buy, making it super affordable. At 40 bulbs, that’s $52 in savings now. And since each CFL can save you another $30 over its lifetime, that’s $1,200 in savings later for a total of $1,252 overall.

No coupons, no hassle – receive the discounted price at the register, courtesy of Dayton Power & Light.

DP&L- discounted CFLs are available at these stores in the Miami Valley area

  • Ace Hardware
  • Family Dollar
  • Home Depot
  • Kroger
  • Meijer
  • Sam’s Club
  • True Value
  • Walmart

via CFL Retailer Locator.

The amount of Mercury in these bulbs is small: 4 mg. But, for such a small amount- read about what you are supposed to do if one of these bulbs breaks:

If your CFL breaks, the EPA recommends simple, specific steps for cleaning up broken bulbs:

  1. Before clean-up, open a window for 15 minutes and turn off your heat or A/C.
  2. Scoop up the glass fragments and powder – do not sweep or vacuum. Sticky tape can help get glass or powder out of carpet. If the CFL breaks on a hard surface, wipe the area clean with a paper towel.
  3. Take the bulb to your county’s solid waste facility or visit www.earth911.org to locate other nearby facilities that will accept and recycle your broken bulb.
  4. As an extra precaution, the next time the area is vacuumed, remove the bag after vacuuming and throw it in the trash.

The above info comes from a PDF for Wasthington Twp – other material wasn’t as easy to find/useful.

Right now- following that link for CFL Disposal around here only gives Home Depot and the County Solid Waste districts.

Considering how bad our basic recycling track record is in Dayton- it’s hard to believe that a majority of these bulbs will be recycled properly. I watch the battery collection points at the 2nd Street Public Market- and although they do get used- considering how many batteries the average American uses these days- there are problems with their disposal as well.

Of course, then again this NPR article talks about both the good and the bad of CFLs:

According to the federal government, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star approved compact fluorescent bulb (CFL), the United States would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars.

via CFL Bulbs Have One Hitch: Toxic Mercury : NPR.

Recycling isn’t just about feeling good about the earth- it’s absolutely essential. Taking care of hazardous wastes now- can save us billions in clean up and health costs later. The economic impact of pollution isn’t just about global warming- it’s about public safety. It was poison the proverbial well- we’ll all be in trouble. So, while buying these bulbs at a discount is great- maybe there should be a mandatory quick disposal video to watch at the checkout so that we don’t end up creating more problems than we solve.

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20 Responses

  1. truddick May 2, 2010 / 4:29 pm
    I’ve been using CFLs for over 20 years now.  If you are concerned about heavy metal pollution, the cosmetics industry produces more than any other, and the regular fireworks displays burn serious amounts of barium, copper,  cadmium, lithium, antimony, rubidium, strontium, lead and potassium nitrate–which then precipitates into our soil and water.  Neither of those endeavors produces anything of tangible value; at least a CFL cuts energy consumption (thus reducing pollution from coal-fired and nuclear plants).  Moreover, as you point out, it IS possible to recycle a CFL; I go to Home Depot and will be happy when Lowe’s decides to match them.
     
    I’m aware that there are some who think a CFL is inferior in terms of light quality.  OK, spend more and get an LED; that’s even cleaner.

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  2. Gary Leitzell May 2, 2010 / 11:02 pm
    Hey David,
    I just mentioned to the city manager on Friday that we need recycle bins at city hall and our rec centers for batteries and CFL bulbs. These things aren’t supposed to go into the land fill but it isn’t easy to dispose of them either. We have to make disposal easier and we have to lead by example. After all we are pushing our residents to recycle more. So, wait a couple of weeks and see what we come up with! I also feel that such bins should be in place at all county facilities and city facilities with public access as well as inside buildings run by 5 Rivers Metro Parks. I wouldn’t hurt to have them in libraries either. It would send a strong message that we recycle in Dayton. We have to start somewhere. It may as well be city hall!

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  3. Greg Hunter May 3, 2010 / 9:06 am
    CFLs are nice but as with all things that are supposedly “good” there is a down stroke and the two I can think of are Jevon’s Paradox and cost shifting. Jevon’s Paradox deals with efficiency and as a energy becomes more efficient in one area, creating a surplus of cheaper energy, then that energy will be utilized elsewhere.  More CFLs allows web sites like this to continue to consume vast amounts of that saved energy to promote the wonderful revolutionary ideas that are espoused on this web site.
     
    The cost shifting of cleaning up heavy metals at the source is now shifting to the haphazard management of toxic metals by the consumer will probably increase local calls of the public hazmat teams to clean up mercury.  That would not be possible would it?  Sure because the public is hysterical and politicians respond.  In addition the replacement of CFLs in some locations will require additional heat source requirements for some applications.

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  4. Andy Rowe May 3, 2010 / 3:45 pm
    The city could do a lot better when it comes to making recycling easier.  I can’t get a replacement recycling bin at my residence (my old one disappeared over a year ago).  Perhaps Waste Management is disposing of the bins to keep their trash yields up (I’m assuming their contract is set to pay them by the weight of the waste they “manage”)?  Oh, the conspiracy theorist in me is running wild again.  :P
    Also, apparently there are issues when it comes to getting recycling bins at businesses as well.  I manage a tavern in the Oregon District and would love to get some massive bins.  We generate an ungodly amount of glass (as all our beer is served in bottles).  I’ve been getting the run around on this for awhile as well.
    But, getting back to the main topic, I only have a couple of CFLs at my house.  I’ve heard about the mercury issue, but I’ve never seen or heard of these bulbs breaking.  They’re quite a bit more rugged than the delicate incandescent bulbs everyone is used to as far as I can tell.

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  5. hall May 3, 2010 / 4:27 pm
    Andy, I have (3) recycle bins at home. We typically fill (2) every two weeks. All I had to do was call the city and ask and they delivered it a few days later. Now, if they’d have told me “no” or tried to charge me for it, I’d have raised a fuss. I SAVE the city money by recycling so getting a couple of bins should be ENCOURAGED, not discouraged.

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  6. David Esrati May 3, 2010 / 4:28 pm

    @Andy- the city doesn’t use Waste Management for trash removal- it’s done by the city.

    Businesses aren’t eligible for city waste collection as far as I know. They expect you to contract with a private hauler (another opportunity for revenue squandered IMHO).

    The Mayor should see all the comments on this thread- so maybe you’ll get some response.

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  7. Shortwest Rick May 3, 2010 / 10:37 pm
    CFL’s are great, I started replacing all my incandescents about eight years ago. They do give off a little less light so I’d suggest bumping up a rating when switching them out, for instance a 75w incandescent in the ceiling fixture replace it with a 100w rated CFL, it still only uses 26w. As Greg mentions they are a little temperature sensitive, they only last a year or so in the porch light and in the stove hood they only last about eight months but those are the two places the light is commonly left on anyway so I don’t mind. Then I realized I had three off/on motorized timers that I was constantly adjusting as the seasons changed, I pulled them out of the wall and put them in the kitchen drawer. All said, my DPL bill came in $48 less monthly. I don’t know what that equates to in reduced coal consumption but that’s like a couple weeks of free beer.

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  8. William May 3, 2010 / 11:09 pm
    @ David, EVERY single time I see Gary’s name attached to one of your articles as in (he posted a reply) it just makes my skin crawl.  This guy is the laughing stock of our city….(a former stay at home dad and painter of horses or some crap like that) Listen I respect you and your efforts but @ Gary Leitzell I want to say this…You’d better get your head out of  your fourth point of contact, and start trying to communicate effectively with us (small business) owners! You’re a joke, plain and simple! Our city doesn’t need just any jobs, we need the right jobs! How about you get off your ass and try to seek out the right business and industry for Dayton!!!!
     

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  9. Shortwest Rick May 3, 2010 / 11:26 pm
    Oh yeh William, good introduction. If I was Gary I’d be motivated to hear you out after you just called me a laughing stock and a joke… or maybe not.

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  10. David Esrati May 3, 2010 / 11:41 pm

    @William- I’m assuming you are a fellow paratrooper. I’d suggest you show the Mayor a little respect- if it wasn’t for him- it would be business as usual under a silly hat.

    Some changes are better than NO changes.

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  11. William May 4, 2010 / 7:02 pm
    @ David…..NO I am not a paratrooper, a proud Marine as a matter of fact.  I have my opinions and you have yours.  I respect you a great deal but however NOT the current mayor.

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  12. Kenneth Wade A May 4, 2010 / 7:15 pm
    The last couple of comments,  I found to be rather intriguing so I decided that it was finally time to put my two cents in here. William, you have a great deal of passion (however misdirected!) David is right, Mayor Leitzell at the very least deserves your respect for attempting to move the city of Dayton in the right direction. I myself happen to believe personally that it doesn’t matter whom we put into office, the Real people are the ones who are going to bring about the REAL change that our city needs. We are all going to have to work  in unison, in the fight to better our communities! @ David…..I don’t know whether to say ouch or not on the paratrooper comment…(what’s wrong with paratroopers?)
     
    Ken Wade A

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  13. David Esrati May 4, 2010 / 8:15 pm

    @William- how does a Marine know about the fourth point of contact?

    I agree with Ken- we need to support the Mayor- he’s still only one vote of five (since you didn’t elect me). That’s tough sledding folks.

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  14. William May 4, 2010 / 8:29 pm
    Who says that a Marine can’t go to Airborne School? @ Ken, you’re just an idiot for trying to get the majority of people to work together. I took a hard look at your website,  just plain stupid if you ask me!!!

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  15. David Esrati May 4, 2010 / 8:32 pm

    @William- they can go- just not many make it through ;-) That still makes you a paratrooper- or do Marines have a different word for parachute- like them calling their hats “covers.”

    As the black hat said to the Marines wearing their “covers” in our chow line- “Trash cans have covers, no headgear in my chow line- drop and give me fifty.”

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  16. Kenneth Wade A May 4, 2010 / 8:58 pm

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  17. David Lauri May 5, 2010 / 10:02 am
    OK, I’ll bite — why does having one’s business recognized by the State of Ohio mean anything?  For example, America’s Pay Day Loans, Ltd. (registration number LL9085) is also a recognized business in the State of Ohio (go to the Ohio Secretary of State website and look it up if you want), but that doesn’t mean America’s Pay Day Loans, Ltd., is a reputable business or anything to brag about.
     
    Good for you, Kenneth, for trying to make a difference and for “garner[ing] some great and positive attention,” but merely having registered a business doesn’t really mean anything.

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  18. Kenneth Wade A May 6, 2010 / 1:03 am
    @ David Lauri
     
    I understand where you are coming from I really do, however we’re only 60 days away from having our 501C3 Non profit Status complete.

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