COLUMBIA — Energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs are common in Columbia, but ways to dispose of them are not. The bulbs contain mercury and can’t be thrown out with the rest of the trash.
But residents have a new option for disposing of used bulbs. The Home Depot announced Tuesday that it would accept them at all of its U.S. stores, including its Columbia location.
Assistant store manager Sean Johnson said The Home Depot in Columbia, located at 3215 Clark Lane, is already accepting the used bulbs, but that the process would be getting simpler.
“Right now, we just have a small container we’re putting them in, but we’re supposed to be shipped a full recycling center that will be more customer friendly,” he said.
In the meantime, he said, the store is accepting the bulbs at its returns desk. Johnson said the company contracted with a recycling center to take the bulbs from the store and dispose of them.
In May, the Environmental Protection Agency reported Columbia had the fourth-highest compact fluorescent bulb use in the nation, but its residents could only get rid of the bulbs when the city was accepting hazardous waste. The city’s hazardous waste facility is only open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month between April and November.
The Columbia Public Works Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility is located at 1313 Lakeview Ave.