Most IKEA stores offer some recycling program in close association with their local community. IKEA recycling in the US and Canada generally covers paper and cardboard, plastics, and glass in addition to hazardous waste collections of compact fluorescent bulbs (also known as CFLs) and batteries.
Both compact fluorescents and batteries contain hazardous materials and should never be discarded with your household trash. Some areas mandate recycling, so be sure to check your local community guidelines and laws regarding recycling hazardous materials. Find out where to recycle CFLs and batteries after the jump!
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
IKEA sells many low-energy compact fluorescent bulbs both with their lamps, and separately in the SPARSAM product range in the forms of low-energy compact fluorescent bulbs, tubular compact fluorescent bulbs, compact fluorescent reflector bulbs and fluorescent tubes that are not so much compact. The SPARSAM CFL bulbs carry a Five Year Limited Warranty – see the SPARSAM line for complete information.
According to the EPA, in the US,
over 670 million mercury-containing bulbs are discarded each year. Most of these bulbs are still discarded with municipal solid waste that is ultimately landfilled or incinerated. These disposal methods can lead to a release of elemental mercury into the environment through breakage and leakage and ultimately contaminate the food chain. These bulbs should, therefore, be recycled after they burn out. Virtually all components of a fluorescent bulb can be recycled. The metal end caps, glass tubing, mercury and phosphor powder can all be separated and reused.
IKEA US and IKEA Canada both offer take-back or recycling programs for recycling compact fluorescent bulbs. Be careful when dropping your bulbs into the collection containers – you don’t want to break the glass and release the mercury!
Americans purchase nearly 3 billion dry-cell batteries every year to power radios, toys, cellular phones, watches, laptop computers, and portable power tools. Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel, which can contaminate the environment when batteries are improperly disposed of. When incinerated, certain metals might be released into the air or can concentrate in the ash produced by the combustion process.
Although IKEA’s ALKALISK batteries do not contain mercury or cadmium, special waste handling is nonetheless required for safe disposal of batteries.
IKEA US and IKEA Canada will accept alkaline batteries for recycling. Look for collection bins for battery recycling near the cash lanes and/or near the Swedeshop, or ask your IKEA greeter for information on where to find the drop-off.
Sources and Information on Recycling Hazardous Household Waste
For more information on recycling household hazardous waste, such as CFLs and batteries, see the following sources:
USEPA Batteries Aug. 28 2008 (Accessed Jan. 13, 2010).
USEPA Mercury-Containing Light Bulb (Lamp) Basic Information Dec. 1, 2009 (Accessed Jan. 13, 2010).