Within recent weeks, Eskom has been hosting light bulb exchange tables at various Spar’s around East London. The obvious purpose would be to roll out energy saving Compact flourescent Lights (CFL) to help with their power shortage, however a less obvious purpose is the proper disposal of the old light bulbs.
Light bulbs have a number of chemicals used to make to unit what it is. The main chemical of concern is mercury. Mercury is a naturally occurring metal, however in very small doses, classed as a heavy metal, mercury, is very poisonous and once in the soil, takes years to be absorbed.
Eskom’s drive highlights the need for proper disposal of light bulbs, which many of us take for granted. With separation at the source, Eskom encourages consumers to dispose of bulbs at bulb collection points.
Currently Woolworths and Pick ‘n Pay offer bulb collection points. Also contact your local council for other options. I have also seen a collection box for batteries at the Beacon Bay Pick ‘n Pay store.
source – Eskom – CFL Implementation Guideline