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Environmental Protection & Preservation

IKEA Canada Offers Free Recycling of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

A recent poll conducted by Angus Reid Strategies for IKEA Canada uncovered an overwhelming desire by Canadians to dispose of their compact fluorescent light energy saving light bulbs (CFLs) in a responsible manner. While only 41 per cent of those who use CFLs recycle them today, 98 per cent of respondents who do not recycle their CFLs indicated they would if there was an easy way. IKEA Canada also recognizes the importance of proper recycling of CFLs, and has offered its "Free Take Back" program for CFLs at all 11 locations in Canada since 2001. This program also offers free recycling of batteries.

While more and more Canadians are realizing the financial and environmental benefits of using CFLs - they last six to ten times longer than the average incandescent bulb - there remains a need for education on the necessity to recycle or dispose of them properly because of the low levels of Mercury in the bulbs.

"IKEA has always been an innovator and change driver when it comes to the environment. Our focus is on ensuring that we operate as a responsible company and that we have strong environmental programs in place that resonate with our customers' needs," says Kerri Molinaro, President of IKEA Canada. "As we sell a wide range of energy saving light bulbs and batteries, it only makes sense that we wish to minimize the effect on the environment from our business. The diversion of expired CFLs and batteries away from landfills to recycling centres for responsible end of life management is an important part of securing a safe environment for current and future generations."

IKEA Canada works closely with Raw Materials Company (RMC, A division of International Marine Salvage Inc.) who specializes in battery recycling, hazardous waste hauling and processing, and have been actively recycling for more than 25 years. The bulb goes through a separation process into glass, powder and mercury. Separated mercury goes through a triple distillation which takes away all contamination. After the triple distillation is finished, the mercury is re-used.

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