Recycling Options for CFLs and more

by Catherine Haug, February 23, 2012

The Waste Not Project has updated their recycling brochure; a printable pdf copy is available at Recycling in the Flathead Valley. The number of recycling options is ever increasing, so be sure to check out the update.

Here are a few highlights for drop locations:

Fluorescents, etc.

CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, the most toxic metal and one of the most toxic substances in existence. DO NOT THROW THESE IN THE TRASH! Mercury accumulates in the body over time, primarily in the brain and other nerve tissue, but also anywhere else in the body except the blood. In addition to fluorescent bulbs, it is present in ‘silver’ amalgam dental fillings, many ocean fish and other seafood, vaccines (as a preservative), just to name a few. See the US Geological Survey website for more: Mercury in the Environment.

CFL Bulbs (Compact Fluorescent Lights): Recycle at:

  • Flathead Electric- 2510 Hwy 2 E, Kalispell, (406) 751-4483
  • Home Depot-Kalispell, (406) 755-5333

Fluorescent tubes, CFLs and Thermostats: Recycle at:

  • Park Industrial Lighting, (406) 752-8396
  • Two Guys & A Drum (commercial only), (406) 871-4682
  • EcoLight Northwest, (206-343-7443), (888) 214-2327, – all sizes (fee charged)
  • Flathead County Landfill  (thermostats only; ask at gate)

Other electronic waste: Recycle at:

  • Vall-E-Waste Collection Event offered annually late spring each year. This year it will be May 19, 2012, 9 AM – 2 PM. Accepting computers, TVs, cell phones and more. A small fee is charged. Call Waste Not Project, (406) 756-8993 for more info.
  • Some local stores that sell electronic equipment are offering return recycling options. Call Waste Not Project, (406) 756-8993 for more info.
  • Staples Office Supply, 1290 Hwy. 2 E., Kalispell (406) 257-8200 Call for details. No TVs or VCRs.
  • CPR, Damaged Cell Phone and Ipod Repair, 2243 Hwy 2 E., Kalispell, (406) 257-2348 Call for details.
  • Radioactive, 35 Heritage Way, Kalispell, (406) 257-5999
  • Best Buy, 2407 Hwy 93 N, Kalispell, (406) 752-1300

Medicines (pharmaceuticals, supplements, OTC medicines):

Medicines flushed down the toilet or drain pollute our groundwater and recreational waters. Putting them in the trash is better than flushing, but is not secure – especially for controlled substances which are often abused. It’s far better to take all medicines to a drop location.

For more information, call Waste Not Project, (406) 756-8993. Recycle at:

  • 24-hour drop container: Flathead County Justice Center lobby, 920 S Main St. in Kalispell. This is for unwanted or outdated prescription medicines only (no liquids or needles).
  • Each spring, near the end of May, a countywide one-day drop-off for unwanted medicines is also available. Call 756-8993 for information.

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