Wal-Mart’s CFL Paradox

Home Depot recycles compact fluorescents. Why not Wal-Mart?

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CONSUMER RETORTS

Consumer Retorts

Wal-Mart’s CFL Paradox

Home Depot recycles compact fluorescents. Why not Wal-Mart?

WAL-MART has taken the lead (and the credit) in promoting compact fluorescent lightbulbs. More than 260 million have flown off its shelves since November 2006. But what about taking back used bulbs, which contain enough mercury to qualify as hazardous waste? Home Depot lets customers hand over spent CFLs at the returns desk, while IKEA has on-site disposal bins. For its part, Wal-Mart has invited customers to bring in their old bulbs just once—on a single day in 2007. Its website doesn’t mention that the bulbs require special disposal or that they contain a neurotoxin that escapes if they break, say, in your kitchen trash. Spokesman Greg Rossiter says there are no collection plans in the works, “but if someone did have a bulb to recycle, we could direct them to a local location.” The company notes that it’s made suppliers cut the mercury in their bulbs by as much as a third. It also says its goal is to “create zero waste”—so why not start here?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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