"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Monday, March 07, 2011

What shall we do with a broken lightbulb?

What indeed. If you have been enticed into replacing your old bulbs with the new, low-energy bulbs, otherwise known as 'compact fluorescent lamps', then disposing of broken ones is going to be a problem, as it seems that these bulbs are regarded as far too dangerous to fall into the hands, or even the close vicinity of our garbage disposal operatives.
So, the all-powerful E.U. has decided in its wisdom that all households should henceforth use these lightbulbs which are filled with mercury and which, when they break, emit 'levels of toxic vapour up to 20 times higher than the safe guideline limit for an indoor area.' In fact, current advice is that, should one break in your house, the room should be evacuated immediately and it should be ventilated for 15 minutes. Let's hope it doesn't happen in mid-winter then. Furthermore, when disposing of the broken lightbulb, you are advised to wear protective gloves and seal the remnants in a plastic bag.
OK, so far so good. But then what do you do with it? Apparently, you get in your car and travel to your nearest 'special recycling bank' because councils don't deal with hazardous waste.
Not only that, but old style lightbulbs are disappearing off the shelves of our local stores faster than a cat being chased by Paddy, so it's a case of "You will do as we say, even though this item we are promoting is regarded as 'hazardous'".
Now one of my character flaws is that, as soon as I feel I am being forced to do something, I put all my efforts into doing the opposite, (This caused me a lot of problems during my formative years!) hence yesterday morning saw me scouring the internet and bulk buying a stock of old style lightbulbs for our use in years to come.
At least we will be able to see our hands in front of our faces, which is not always the case with the'compact fluorescent  lamps'. And we won't be having to deal with 'hazardous waste' although it's possible that we will end up languishing in the Tower of London with all the other 'martyrs' who dare to contravene E.U directives.
Bring it on!


Murphyfish said...

oh you rebel, actually you have a valid point as we're continual being pushed into bigger, faster, better by the powers that be with or without our consent, just another case of big brother me thinks.

Jennyta said...

I agree, John. :)

mrsnesbitt said...

Yes definately a Big Brother moment eh? As my Auntie Joan would have said "I knew somebody who died because of a lightbulb!" lol!

Jennyta said...

mrsnesbitt, I think we need a revolution. ;)

Anonymous said...

The trouble is a lot of people will just bin them regardless!
Thankfully I've enough old type ones to last me for the forseeable future.
Flighty xx

Jennyta said...

I'm sure they will, Flighty, and it will be impossible to monitor anyway.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Have you noticed how with these energy saving bulbs it will often say for example 20watt - equivalent of a 100watt traditional light bulb and yet when you turn the bugger on you can't even see to read. They are also often heavy, ugly and expensive. I think Berlusconi must have been involved in this EU scam.

Jennyta said...

Those are the very reasons I dislike them, YP. As for Berlusconi, can't comment but I wouldn't be surprised! ;)

Dad said...

How will we dispose of the new type when they wear out? Mine will go in the black bag in the black bin.
Al this is due to Our Masters in Brussels deciding what is to be done.
I am English and the English do not take orders from foreigners.
If MI5 catches yp with me will someone send me a cake with a file in it please


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