Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.

  • The Dark Side of Fluorescent Lights

    We all have summer projects. Mine is to change out the old fluorescent bulbs and tubes in my laundry room and kitchen and retrofit the lighting fixtures to LED. 

    This conversion to LED means I’m done with the 48-inch tubes and possibly the ballast as well.  So, what am I supposed to do with those items? 

    First of all, never throw them in the trash. (Confession here: Several years ago, following another light fixture project, I did throw the bulbs and ballast into the trash can. I didn’t know any better. I was young and naïve, which is my lame excuse for any stupid thing I did in the past.)  

    Many of the larger hardware stores don’t accept the 48-inch lights for recycling, but they will take compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs. Those bulbs can be hazardous if they aren’t disposed of correctly. If broken, the bulbs can release mercury. 

    Basically, you need to find out how your local jurisdiction handles the materials. Do an online search and figure out if you need to drop the tubes off at a local collection site or if your area has a household hazardous waste pickup service.

    As for the ballast, some older products are considered potentially hazardous since they could contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). Those ballasts should be disposed at a hazardous waste facility.  Check with your local jurisdiction to find out where to take these items in your area. Recent electrical ballasts can be recycled at some light bulb specialty stores, or you can send them back via a mail-in program. Besides your county, is another good resource to find out where you can properly dispose of the ballasts. 

    So, if you’re planning to change out those pesky fluorescent bulbs, these simple tips will have you more prepared. Good luck with your project!

    Fluorescent light tube
    Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong on Jul 18, 2019

  • CalEPA's Big Earth Day Celebration

    We've been celebrating Earth Day for weeks now here at CalRecycle, along with our CalEPA partner groups. We all got together and held our big annual celebration yesterday at CalEPA's downtown Sacramento headquarters. We even had a few special guests, like Gov. Gavin Newsom. Little did he know he'd have to share the spotlight with Recycle Rex, the Bag Monster, Queen Green, and a few other stately dignitaries. Take a look at the fun we had! 


    Newsom at the CalEPA Earth Day event
    Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong, TC Clark on Apr 25, 2019

  • Millennials--It's Your World, We Just Live in It

    Hey Millennials, no pressure, but it’s pretty much up to you to save the planet! It’s a big job, but fortunately, you’re sharp and energetic—you’re up to the task, right?

    Here are some tips. Once your mom drops her phone one too many times, or your dad’s laptop won’t accept the newest operating system upgrade, be sure to recycle their electronics responsibly. Buy your hipster clothing at secondhand stores rather than paying top dollar for new imitations—you’ll be keeping textiles out of the landfill and preventing unnecessary pollution and energy use on new clothing production. And share your eco-tips on social media to increase your number of followers. Follow CalRecycle on Twitter and CalEPA on Instagram while you’re at it! 

    A Clean California Starts with Millennials
    Posted on In the Loop by Heather Jones on Apr 18, 2019