Whether you want it for use under the cabinet in your kitchen or in a commercial setting, fluorescent tube lighting is an energy-efficient way to go. It allows you to see better in areas that don’t have a lot of natural light, and it doesn’t produce as much heat as other types of lighting.
But like any other form of lighting, fluorescent tubes eventually stop working for one reason or another. That puts you in the position of having to replace them, and that’s where most of us turn to Lowe’s.
But can you take with you the old tubes when you go shopping for new ones? Does Lowe’s recycle fluorescent tubes? Well, this question has been a bother to many. And to help, we have decided to set the records straight, once and for all. So, let’s get started.
Can I Recycle Fluorescent Tubes at Lowe’s?
Lowe’s does not recycle fluorescent tubes as of today. So, if you have some fluorescent tubes you need to get rid of and were hoping to drop them at Lowe’s, you’re out of luck. Lowe’s, however, recycles other types of fluorescent bulbs, including CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs), which are smaller versions of the same technology.
Perhaps you’ve read on several web pages that Lowe’s accepts recycling fluorescent bulbs. Well, that’s true, but only to some extent. Lowe’s does have a recycling program for CFLs but not for fluorescent tubes.
Our thorough search didn’t find any information as to why the company doesn’t recycle fluorescent tubes. However, there were instances where people had to go back with their old tubes after being told by Lowe’s employees that the store no longer recycles them.
So, if you’re looking for a way to get rid of those old tubes, find other options. You can visit your local government website to find information on recycling centers around your area and whether or not they accept fluorescent bulbs.
And with that said, what exactly can you carry with you the next time you visit a Lowe’s store? If that’s among the things you want to know, keep reading to find out more about what you can recycle at Lowe’s stores.
What Can Customers Recycle at Most Lowe’s Stores?
Customers can recycle several things at Lowe’s stores, including CFLs, rechargeable batteries, cellphones, and plastic shopping bags. But before you drop any of these items, check to see whether what you have meets the requirements for acceptance.
Lowe’s offers an easy, convenient, and free way for customers to recycle various items. That’s why each of the stores has a recycling center usually located near the front of the store. As long as what you have meets the requirements for acceptance, you can drop it off at the Recycling Center.
But as usual, before dropping it, look for signage. Some items may require that you remove them from the packaging before placing them in the designated recycling bin. So, always be careful with the directions provided and follow them accordingly.
Also, find information on the maximum number of items customers can recycle in a single visit. This will usually be stated on the signage. For example, the maximum number of CFLs customers can recycle in a single visit is 10.
Does Lowe’s Recycle Christmas Lights?
Yes, Lowe’s recycles Christmas lights. Lowe’s stores have a recycling station at the front of the store, and customers can drop their Christmas lights for recycling. What’s more, you can take the lights anytime in the year, not just during the festive season.
Christmas lights are a great way to add some extra sparkle to your holiday decor, but when the season is over, you’re left with a string of lights that you may not need. And while keeping them for the next festive season is an option, these lights get spoilt more often while in storage.
Also, Christmas lights keep changing, and the design trending this festive season may not be the one that will be trending next year. So, rather than holding on to holiday lights that you may not use, most people opt to get rid of them through recycling.
And yes, if you’re among those people, you can recycle your Christmas lights at Lowe’s. All you need to do is bring them to the store and drop them off at the recycling station. And yes, you can do that any time of the year when you feel like it and not wait until the festive season.
Can You Just Throw Away Your Fluorescent Tubes?
No, you shouldn’t just throw away your fluorescent tubes. Fluorescent tubes contain harmful compounds and should be disposed of with caution. Otherwise, the compounds in these bulbs may affect the people exposed to them and the environment.
Every homeowner will agree that the regular garbage bin offers a convenient, hassle-free way to eliminate waste and unwanted materials. And while it works well for various items, some items are just not meant to go in the bin.
Fluorescent tubes, for instance, should never be thrown in the garbage. As beautifully as they illuminate a room, these bulbs also come with a fair share of dangers, most of them in the form of harmful compounds.
When these tubes are disposed of in the regular garbage bin, there’s a high chance they’ll end up in a landfill. And when that happens, the harmful compounds in the tubes will eventually leach into the soil and groundwater, contaminating both.
So, if you have any fluorescent tubes at home, the best way to get rid of them is to take them to a recycling center. There, the tubes will be recycled or properly disposed of, and you’ll also be doing your part in preserving the environment.
Why is it Bad To Throw Fluorescent Tubes in the Garbage?
The main reason why it’s bad to throw fluorescent tubes in the garbage is because of the mercury content in these bulbs. Mercury is a toxic metal that can cause various health problems in people who are exposed to it. So, to play it safe, dispose of your fluorescent tubes responsibly!
When fluorescent tubes are disposed of in landfills, there’s a high chance that the mercury will leach into the soil and groundwater. And when people drink this contaminated water, they’re at risk of suffering from health problems like kidney damage, neurological problems, and even death.
Sure, the mercury in one fluorescent tube may not be enough to cause these health problems. But when you consider the number of these bulbs disposed of in landfills yearly, it’s not hard to see how the cumulative effect can be dangerous.
The same applies to every other fluorescent bulb, including the CFLs. They all contain mercury and pose the same risks when disposed of in landfills.
Does Lowe’s Recycle Flower Pots?
Yes, Lowe’s does recycle flower pots. However, the home improvement store won’t accept just any flower pot. Lowe’s only works with vendors dealing with plastic flower pots. So, if your pot is made of plastic, you can recycle it at Lowe’s. In fact, you can drop any plastic pot regardless of where you bought it!
Finding a local garden center where you can take your plastic pot for recycling can be a challenging affair. That’s because dealing with these pots means inviting much trouble with a multitude of different plastics, some of which aren’t recyclable just anywhere.
So, most of these garden centers choose to avoid the hassle altogether by not accepting plastic pots for recycling. And even the few that do take, they only work with pots purchased from them.
This is where Lowe’s comes in as a savior. The home improvement store has a rich network of vendors, which includes those that recycle plastic flower pots. So, if you have an old plastic pot lying around at home, regardless of where you got it from, you can take it to Lowe’s and have it recycled.
Does Lowe’s Recycle Propane Tanks?
Lowe’s doesn’t really recycle propane tanks, but you can still drop your old and unwanted propane tank at their stores, and they’ll take it and give it to the respective propane tank company. Lowe’s won’t offer any credit, though, but at least you won’t have the propane tank lying around your house.
Most people use propane tanks for BBQ grills and other outdoor cooking appliances. And when these tanks become empty, some people often exchange them for new ones, while others opt to buy new ones.
Now, if you choose to exchange your propane tank for a new one, Lowe’s could help, depending on the company of the tank. The store works with several propane tank companies like Blue Rhino and can help you exchange your tank for a new one. Of course, you’ll need to pay some amount for this service for the LPG.
If you have an old propane tank you don’t need anymore, you can still surrender it to Lowe’s, and they’ll take it to the respective company. Don’t expect any credit, though. Credit only comes from the refill station or the propane company itself but not from Lowe’s.
What Do I Do With My Old Fluorescent Tubes?
You can take your old fluorescent tubes to a recycling center that accepts these items. EPA recommends that you use the search tool on the Earth911 database to find the nearest recycling facility for these bulbs. Just ensure that you don’t put them alongside regular trash as they contain mercury which can be dangerous.
However, different states have varying levels of strictness when getting rid of your old fluorescent tubes. So, checking with your state’s recycling regulations would be best before taking the bulbs to a recycling center.
Even so, we’ve got several general safety precautions when handling fluorescent bulbs. For instance;
- Avoid breaking the bulbs as this can release the mercury inside them
- Always package your old fluorescent bulbs in their original package or any other safe one to keep them from breaking.
- Keep the bulbs from water to avoid contamination
- Always open windows and doors in case of breakage
- Use disposable gloves and a mask when handling broken bulbs
While you can drop CFLs and several other light bulbs on Lowe’s for recycling, that doesn’t apply to fluorescent bulbs. For the latter, use your local government websites to find fluorescent bulb recycling facilities near you. That way, you’ll have done your part in protecting the environment and avoided trouble with the law.
Additionally, always keep in mind that fluorescent bulbs have mercury. This compound can be harmful when ingested. As such, handle them cautiously and avoid breaking them at all costs.