Yesterday I was at the dump, excuse me, transfer station, in my town. We have private curbside pick up in my town, and when I got divorced, trash removal was important to me, but pricey, so I dumped the service and drive twice weekly to dispose of my garbage. The transfer station has a large bay, like a garage, in which there is a pit. You heave household trash into the pit. It's cathartic. My boxed, preserved House of Bianchi wedding gown made a particularly nice "clunk" when it hit the bottom two years ago.
Parked next to me, a man took a long, fluorescent tube out of his fuel efficient car. I thought, "No way, he's not going to...." Sure enough, he marched into the bay to heave it into the pit. I ran next to him, "You can't do that! The tube is loaded with mercury! It's toxic! There's a special drop off for CF and tube lights!!!"
"There is? I didn't know that."
CRASH. Explode. Mercury vapor is now filling the pit and about to waft up to us.
I wish I knew who he is. I'd send him a copy of Trace Amounts, the story of how a broken tube light on a construction site launched Eric Gladen into years of disability including most of the signs of autism.
Imagine how many of these bulbs are in in our trash. Especially the CFL's that pretend to be real lightbulbs instead of toxic bombs. But measles. Right?