County Helping Businesses Recycle Fluorescent Lights

October 19, 2011 | 9:34am


Local small businesses can once again get free “mail-back” recycling kits to help them legally recycle old fluorescent lights, thanks to the Department of Environmental Health and a federal grant.

“We started this program a year ago to make it easier for businesses in this tough economy to properly recycle fluorescent lights, and it has been very successful,” said Supervisor Greg Cox. “This is a great way to help local businesses and protect our environment at the same time.”

Fluorescent lights and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) help businesses cut electrical costs and be more environmentally-friendly. But it’s illegal in California to throw old fluorescent lights away with regular trash because they contain small amounts of mercury, a toxic metal that can harm people and the environment unless properly recycled.

To help local small businesses recycle properly, the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health is continuing to make “mail-back” recycling kits available. Each kit can hold up to 75 fluorescent bulbs or tubes (depending on size), and businesses can simply mail the kit back free of charge to let the County recycle the lights. Businesses may receive up to three kits each while the supplies last. Businesses must be located within San Diego County to qualify.

The County Environmental Health Department purchased the recycling kits with federal stimulus funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to the County through an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. For a complete list of the County’s stimulus-funded projects, please visit