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Environmental Health Department Offering Free Recycling Kits While Supplies Last

May 5, 2012 (San Diego County) --
County officials are reminding small business owners that they can still get free “mail-back” recycling kits to help them legally recycle their old fluorescent lights, thanks to the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) and a federal grant.

More than 350 local businesses have used the kits to safely recycle more than five tons of old fluorescent lights since the County first made them available in 2010.

“This has really been a great program,” said Supervisor Greg Cox. “It’s given local small businesses a helping hand in a down economy, made it easier to properly dispose of fluorescent lights, kept mercury out of our landfills and protected the environment.”

Fluorescent lights and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) help businesses cut electrical costs and be more environmentally-friendly. But it’s illegal in California to toss old fluorescent lights out in the regular trash because they contain small amounts of mercury, a toxic metal that can harm people and the environment unless properly recycled.

To help local small businesses, DEH bought the recycling kits with federal stimulus funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to the County through an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. Each kit can hold up to 75 fluorescent bulbs or tubes (depending on size), and businesses can simply mail the kit back free of charge to let the County recycle the lights.

Businesses may receive up to three kits each while the supplies last. To qualify, businesses must be located within San Diego County.

For a complete list of the County’s stimulus-funded projects, please visit

To get more information about how your business can take part, please visit  or contact KariLyn Merlos at (858) 495-5799, or