Image courtesy of Paul Keller
of the benefits of being 9 months pregnant is the nesting. My house has
never been cleaner or more organized than it is right now--and I'm
still finding myself drooling over drawer organizers, closet solutions,
and organization pin boards on Pinterest.
Nesting is also a good
opportunity to take care of all those little chores you've been meaning
to do when you get around to it. (Which is one of the many reasons why I
wish I could bottle the nesting instinct for use when not enormously
pregnant). For instance, sometime in the last year or so, I collected up
all of our burnt out CFL lightbulbs into a plastic bag, and placed said bag
on the top shelf of our coat rack so that I could recycle them when I
got the chance. That chance didn't arrive until last week, when, in a
fit of nesting-induced decluttering, I decided I no longer wanted dead
light bulbs to live on top of my coat rack.
Like a good little
environmentalist, I looked online to see where I could recycle these
bulbs. According to the internets, the only local retailer that seemed
to offer recycling was Batteries Plus, so I put the bag o' bulbs in the
car, and planned to make a recycling run the next time I was running
However, when I arrived at Batteries Plus yesterday, the
helpful gentleman behind the counter shook his head and told me the bad news: the store charged $66 per bulb for recycling.
At this moment, I should take the time to admit to something a little embarrassing:
I'm ridiculously naive.
have a tendency to take people at their word, and it simply doesn't
occur to me that someone might lie when talking to me. So instead of
telling this gentleman that he was full of horse feathers (particularly
considering the fact that I have successfully recycled CFL bulbs in the
past for FREE), I simply let my jaw drop and asked why on earth it was
so dang expensive.
"We're not trying to make any money off of it,"
he explained, sadly. "That's just how much it costs to recoup the
materials from the bulbs. That's why it's better to buy the LED
bulbs--you can just throw them away."
He went on to tell me that
the local municipality offers "free" recycling of CFLs--although he made
sure to state more than once that our tax dollars were actually paying
for the recycling.
I thanked the mendacious gentleman for his
time, and high-tailed it out of there, wondering why on earth anyone
would incentivize throwing away something that contains mercury--a
substance that has a cumulative negative effect on the environment if it
is not disposed of properly.
When I mentioned the conversation to
J, he laughed and assured me that the guy must have been scamming me.
He probably didn't want to do anything (after all, there was absolutely
NOTHING else going on at the store, and I'm sure the guy had some
vitally important cat videos to watch in the back room), and he figured
he could either be left in peace or score some sweet unnecessary cash
from a naive but committed environmentalist.
J also reminded me
of the fact that Home Depot offers CFL recycling in handy-dandy bins
right inside the store. (Which clearly shows that J trumps Google in
some--but certainly not all--information gathering).
Part of me is
still questioning whether this truly was a lie/scam, since the
Batteries Plus employee was able to state it so effortlessly. Perhaps
it's just me, but I tend to stumble over any untruths that come out of
my mouth. Unless this was a line he had used many more times than just
the once, I have trouble believing he could come up with the oddly
specific amount of $66 off the top of his head.
In any case, I
will be stopping by Home Depot today to drop off my burnt out CFL bulbs.
I do not anticipate having to pay upwards of $70 per bulb.
I hope the gentleman I encountered yesterday enjoys his completely empty store.
any of you ever encountered a "cost" like this from a store that recycles
CFL bulbs? Have you ever had a customer service representative lie to
you for no good reason?