Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Assn. and its wholesale power provider, Great River Energy, have joined with the Center for Energy and Environment to offer CFL recycling at no charge. Residential customers can drop off expired CFLs at the service desk of their local Menards home improvement store in Hutchinson, Willmar or St. Cloud. Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) reduce energy costs and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, but due to the presence of a small amount of mercury CFLs must be recycled. In Minnesota, it is illegal to throw CFLs in the garbage. Until now there hasn't been a free and convenient way to recycle them. "This is the first recycling program of its kind in the state," said Great River Energy Environmental Compliance coordinator Matt Herman, "We provide electrical service to 28 member cooperatives across the state and partnering with Menards gives our members a free and convenient recycling option from International Falls to Rochester and Duluth to Moorhead." CFLs reduce energy costs by up to $30 per bulb over its lifetime and use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights. They also last 10 times longer and generate 70 percent less heat than standard incandescent bulbs. Only compact florescent bulbs will be accepted. Tubes or other mercury-containing items will not be accepted. If unacceptable materials are brought to the store, Menards service desk team members will help to provide information on proper disposal. For more information on your recycling options, visit www.minnesota.earth911.org or www.pca.state.mn.us.