this is why I never liked the compact flourescent bulbs.
Their relative energy efficiency is unquestioned. The problem is the mercury — enough in one bulb to contaminate 1,000 gallons of water, even in newer low-mercury bulbs. The EPA has an 11-step cleanup process to follow when you break a CFL in your home. The specialized recycling facilities that are needed are thin on the ground — about one per county in California, one of seven states where it is illegal to dispose of CFLs in the general waste stream. (via Slashdot)
I’ve always been concerned about the mercury content of fluorescent bulbs, since I’ve seen broken bulbs drip mercury. Thankfully I’ve never had to clean one up in my own home, but I’ve seen the mess they make and the difficulty in cleaning up the mercury. Aside from that, I always found the quality of light from CFL bulbs to be poor. They take longer than regular light bulbs to power on and they start to lose brightness after a short time. They also don’t last very long. I prefer halogen bulbs.