Used lighting products are the largest source of mercury contamination in municipal landfills. Mercury is the most toxic pollutant, after radioactive substances. With the phasing out of incandescent globes, the problem is becoming urgent.
Over 10,000 tonnes of mercury contaminated waste every year goes into landfills across Australia. In landfill, mercury from fluorescent tubes can convert to methyl mercury; this toxic and volatile gas can easily escape into the environment.
To combat this problem the BlinkyBulb Recycling Project was created by Rotary International District 9780 Preserve Planet Earth (Water & Environment) Committee and the Highlands Regional Waste Management Group. The BlinkyBulb initiative was launched on World Environment Day 5 June 2009.
As part of the Project Rotary District 9780 has established collection points at local businesses for members of the public to bring their used CFL globes and fluorescent tubes where they will be boxed for collection. Rotarians will transport the boxes of collected used globes and tubes, ultimately they will go to the City of Ballarat's Gillies Street Transfer Station where they will be stockpiled for transport to the recycling facility.
For more information, including a list of fluorescent drop-off sites, please visit
A report has been compiled on the 12 month pilot project.