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!