Eau Claire County Recycling Program
How & Where to Recycle Specific Materials
Fluorescent Lamps and Compact Fluorescent Lamps
4' and 8' Straight Lamps
Fluorescent lamps, including those that are touted as being "green", contain mercury and should be recycled. Mercury is highly toxic - for more information, click here. Businesses are prohibited from landfilling them.
Lamps that come from homes and businesses are accepted year-round for recycling by:
Eau Claire Ace Hardware (715-836-7788)
Veolia Waste Services (715-839-9553)
Waste Management (715-723-7241)
True Value Hardware stores (downtown Chippewa Falls, 715-726-2510 and Lake Wissota, 715-726-2515).
As of March 6, 2008, the cost to recycle a 4' lamp ranged from $0.50 to $0.89, and the cost for an 8' lamp ranged from $0.62 to $1.38 at these locations.
Fluorescent lamps are also accepted as part of the residential and VSQG clean sweep programs. The cost for a 4' lamp is $0.46; an 8' lamp costs $0.69.
If your business has a large number, you may wish to consider some other options. For more information, call the county recycling office at 839-6190.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps
In recent years, there has been considerable growth in the residential use of compact fluorescent lamps. CFL's also contain mercury and therefore should also be recycled. Most utilities in Wisconsin are participating in a program called Focus on Energy, which is working with retailers throughout the state to provide free recycling of CFL's.
As of April, 2013, the following stores in Eau Claire County currently participate in this program.
Augusta True Value, 128 Lincoln St., Augusta
Eau Claire Ace Hardware, 2618 Birch St., Eau Claire
Chippewa Hardware, 111 West Columbia St., Chippewa Falls
You can locate retailers accepting CFL's for recycling at no cost, as well as those selling them, by going to the following website: http://www.focusonenergy.com/Resources/Find-a-Retailer.aspx. The search engine on this website allows you to search by either city or county. Note - to find recycling locations, select "CFL Recycling" under the Store Type drop-down menu.
Mercury Health Alert!
Mercury is an extremely toxic substance that attacks the central nervous system. The Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland was based on workers in England's felt hat industry who were sickened by exposure to mercury used to cure felt from beaver pelts. The neurological symptoms resulting from mercury poisoning were misinterpreted to be insanity.
Mercury is poisonous by touch, by ingestion, and by breathing its fumes. Because it is a liquid at room temperature, it readily evaporates and escapes into the atmosphere. Later, mercury is deposited into rivers, lakes and streams by precipitation. The amount of mercury in just one standard thermometer is enough, under the right conditions, to trigger a fish consumption advisory in a ten-acre lake.
Bottom line: It is dangerous to break fluorescent lamps. If you break a lamp, or a mercury thermometer, DO NOT VACUUM THE SPILL! This will do two things - it will break the mercury into smaller bits which will speed up the rate it evaporates, and it will contaminate the vacuum cleaner.
Instead, sweep up as much of the material as you can and place it inside a plastic bag, and then place this bag inside another plastic bag. Bring the bag to the next county Clean Sweep event for hazardous waste disposal.