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US EPA

EPA recommends that consumers take advantage of available local options for recycling CFLs, fluorescent bulbs and other bulbs that contain mercury, and all other household hazardous wastes, rather than disposing of them in regular household trash.

Benefits of Recycling CFLs

Recycling prevents the release of mercury into the environment. CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs often break when thrown into a dumpster, trash can or compactor, or when they end up in a landfill or incinerator. Learn more about CFLs and mercury.

  • Other materials in the bulbs get reused. Recycling CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs allows reuse of the glass, metals and other materials that make up fluorescent lights. Virtually all components of a fluorescent bulb can be recycled.
    • Your area may prohibit disposal and/or require recycling. Some states and local jurisdictions have more stringent regulations than U.S. EPA does, and may require that you recycle CFLs and other mercury-containing light bulbs. Visit search.Earth911.comExit to contact your local waste collection agency, which can tell you if such a requirement exists in your state or locality. We are aware that the following states prohibit mercury-containing lamps from being discarded into landfills: The following links exit the site Exit
      • California
      • Maine
      • Massachusetts
      • Minnesota
      • New Hampshire (PDF) (3 pp, 62 K, About PDF)
      • Vermont
      • Washington

    Where to Recycle CFLs

    The short answer is: visit search.Earth911.com Exit to find out.

    • Waste collection agencies
    • Local retailers
    • Mail-back services

    Contact your local waste collection agency

    • provide services that are usually free, though some may charge a small fee.
    • sometimes collect household hazardous wastes only once or twice a year, so residents will have to hold on to their light bulbs until the collection takes place. Other collection agencies provide collection services throughout the year.
    • may also collect paints, pesticides, cleaning supplies or batteries.
    • usually accept waste only from residents, although some collection programs include small businesses as well.

    Visit your local retailers

    Many hardware supply stores and other retailers offer in-store recycling.

    Visit search.Earth911.com Exit to find stores in your area or check the list below.

    Make sure you check directly with the store before you go; not all stores in regional or nationwide chains may participate, and some stores may recycle only certain types of bulbs (for example, a store may recycle CFLs but not 4-foot fluorescent tubes).

    • Aubuchon Hardware store locations
    • Bartell Drugs store locator
    • Home Depot store locator
    • Ikea store locator
    • Lowe’s store locator
    • TrueValue store locator
    • Retail and other locations in certain counties and states:
      • Maine
      • Massachusetts
      • Minnesota
      • City of Napa and southern Napa County, California
      • San Francisco, California
      • San Mateo County, California
      • Vermont

    Find out about mail-back services

    Some bulb manufacturers and other organizations sell pre-labeled recycling kits that allow you to mail used bulbs to recycling centers. The cost of each kit includes shipping charges to the recycling center. You fill up a kit with old bulbs, seal it, and bring it to the post office or leave it for your postal carrier. Websites that provide more information about mail-back services.

    Please Note

    • U.S. EPA does not endorse, recommend, certify, authorize or approve of these services.
    • There may be other similar services of which we are not aware.
    • We only provide these links as a convenience to our web visitors.
    • BakPak Mail-Back Recycling (NLR, Inc.)
    • bulbcycle.com
    • EasyPak from Lamprecycling.com (AirCycle)
    • EcoLights
    • EverLights, Inc.
    • Heritage Lifecycle Mailback Services
    • Lampmaster
    • RecyclePak from Veolia Environmental Services
    • Simple Cycle (Lamp Environment Industries, Inc.)
    • Think Green From Home (Waste Management Inc.)
    • WasteSecure (Universal Recycling Technologies, LLC)

    If your state or local environmental regulatory agency permits you to put used or broken CFLs in the regular household trash, seal the bulb in a plastic bag and put it into the outside trash for the next normal trash collection.

    US EPA EPA recommends that consumers take advantage of available local options for recycling CFLs, fluorescent bulbs and other bulbs that contain mercury, and all other household hazardous

    Home depot metal halide

    Ok, tell me if this would work. My friend purchased a metal halide fixture from Lowes over the summer to light her backyard during a party. It doesnt look too different from the ones we pay HUNDREDS for that are for our tanks. She paid around $10-$20 for this 150 watt fixture. It ran an internal ballast and the only thing I could see that sets it apart is the quality of the bulb inside.
    So, if I purchase a 14K bulb, suspend it over my tank, why should I pay a couple hundred bucks for one if I can get it at any local hardware store for less? Is there something about it Im not seeing that makes it less safe or different? Let me know, cause Im tired of PC bulbs causing algae blooms in my 29. I just had to do a water change, drop Chemi Clean in and lights out for 3 days! Im done with PC all together!

    (ps. I did check my water parms, they are fine, its the lights)

    __________________
    We Don’t Have a Signature.

    Current Tank Info: 125 Gallon Reef

    I dont see a problem if you can find them. I recently completed a 125gal diy stand, canopy, lighting, sump, fuge and even drilled the tank! Man that took a long time to complete. I too ran the isles of the hardware stores for lighting. At first I found what looked like a MH but turned out to be halogen lighting at 14k. you can use this option just be prepared to change the bulb more often.
    Andrew

    I have PC lighting too. I want to get some sps coral for my aquarium, but the
    PC bulbs don’t cut it. MH brake the bank, and T5s are a bit to expensive as well.

    I would like to know if you can use hardware store MH.

    If, that is they are safe.

    I can’t say with certainty. But as a good rule of thumb, if no one is using it, it’s because it won’t cut it. Given how many broke reefers there are (such as myself ) the fact that none are using these lights should give you a sign. But this may be a phenomenon, so there is no harm in trying it out.

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    Check out my tank.

    Current Tank Info: 30G Nano Rimless

    blennymower
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    You won’t find any halide fixture for $10-20, most likely it was halogen which is cheap.
    You can take one of the halogen floodlights and gut the fixture putting in DE halide holders a new ballast and bulb and use them, but they you’re spending close to the cost of a new fixture.

    Nothing wrong with MH from hardware stores. I’ve been using metal halide for over 10 yrs on reef tanks and i have never bought one from a pet shop. My first one was an outdoor MH fixture from the hardware store. ( think it cost me about $60) Then i bought some parts and made a retrofit one which i still use today.( parts including ballast cost me less than $100) You want somethings that safe and works and looks reasonable good.

    buffalo123
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    You can definitely use a HD or Lowes MH fixture. There are only 3 types of MH ballasts – electronic, mag probe start and mag pulse start (HQI). Check which ballast it’s made with and go from there.

    Current Tank Info: 125 reef

    Most outer MH fixtures are regular magnetic ballasts. You can order the ballast just about any place online from $50-70 and the socket for $5-8, build your own reflector and mount it any way you like would be my suggestion. The MH fixtures at HD or Lowes will cost about the same but the aquarium bulb might be a little too long for the fixture (get the bulb before buying the fixture if your going this route). The fixture also tends to trap a lot more heat then a DIY fixture because it is enclosed.

    OceanLandlord
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    one of the reasons people dont go that route is the same reason people really dont use the old gull wing style reflector anymore. you can get better results out of a well designed reflector running a 250 watt bulb than a garbage reflector running a 400 watt bulb. so in the end it will eventually equal out.

    Metal Halide Fixture from Lowes, Home Depot or Tru Value? Lighting, Filtration & Other Equipment