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Bulb Alert

Headed to the trash heap with an armful of fluorescent light bulbs? Wait — each one of those bulbs contains enough mercury to contaminate 6,000 gallons of water. According to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, nearly 75 percent of those bulbs are not currently being recycled. But one Alexandria business is offering a free way to recycle fluorescent light bulbs simply by dropping them off at its West End location.

Calvert Jones Company will be hosting a Fluorescent Bulb Drop-Off Day on Dec. 5. Those interesting in recycling their fluorescent bulbs can take them to Calvert’s building at 5703 Edsall Road — near the intersection of Edsall Road and Van Dorn Street. The bulbs will be crushed in a sealed container, trapping the mercury for safe disposal and leaving the ground glass for recycling. By participating the drop-off, businesses will be able to acquire points toward certification by the United States Building Council’s program in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — popularly known by the acronym LEED.

Calvert will accept all tube lengths and sizes, including U-shaped tubes, T-12s, T-10s and T-8s. Cracked or broken bulbs will not be accepted. For more information, call 703-370-5850.