Home Depot has announced (PDF) a free in-store, consumer CFL bulb recycling program at all of its 1,973 stores in the U.S.
It also announced that it expects to save $16 million in annual energy costs by switching all of its U.S. Light Fixture Showrooms to CFLs by the fall of 2008.
Expired, unbroken CFL bulbs will be handled by an environmental management company that will “coordinate CFL packaging, transportation and recycling to maximize safety and ensure environmental compliance,” Home Depot says. The Home Depot Canada launched a CFL recycling program in November of 2007.
Home Depot says it sold more than 75 million CFL’s in 2007, which saved Americans approximately $4.8 billion in energy costs and 51.8 billon pounds in GHG from entering the atmosphere over the life of the bulbs. Wal-Mart, which has twice as many stores in the U.S. as Home Depot, has accepted expired bulbs at times and is exploring how to do it consistently on a national level, the New York Times reports.
“With more than 75 percent of households located within 10 miles of a Home Depot store, this program is the first national solution to providing Americans with a convenient way to recycle CFLs,” said Ron Jarvis, senior vice president, Environmental Innovation.
The European Union is banning the inefficient light bulbs by the end of the decade, and GE says it is working on high-efficiency incandescent lamps that will match the light quality, brightness and color as current lamps while saving energy and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.