CFL Recycling in PerspectiveSeptember 23, 2008
CFL Recycling in Perspective: Managing Mercury Exposure from Product Use Through Reclamation and Recycling
"Recycling" is a centuries-old activity common to all cultures. Long before recycling was called "recycling" in the USA, Boy Scouts had "newspaper drives," "rag pickers" collected scraps of fabric and torn clothing for paper making, and the ancients borrowed stone from dilapidated structures. Recycling of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) is different how? Let's explore.
We've established that modern-day environmentalists did not invent recycling. The role of the modern environmental movement, circa 1985, was in lobbying government and urging industry to create organized, efficient, safe recycling programs. The need for regulation came when waste-generation rates either produced "reclaimed materials" in volumes that surpassed what the markets demanded, or produced volumes so small that economic uses did not arise.
Example: Some economically useful gold ore has less noble metal than do electronics tossed in the scrapheap of the global economy. Yet mining companies traditionally expressed no interest because the volumes were not big enough and the "ore" too dispersed.
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