For a while there, I was getting worried. While 90% of me hoped that the world would immediately switch over to compact fluorescent light bulbs, there was 10% that was getting very worried that recycling them would never be easy, so they would end up breaking in landfills, and increasing the amount of elemental mercury loose in the world.
It seemed that some companies would launch pilot projects, and then I'd never hear of it again. The only "nation-wide" effort that existed was IKEA. Unfortunately, the nearest IKEA to my house is about 11 hours away. I feared that the expense of recycling CFLs would forever keep it inconvenient. Then ACE Hardware launched their recycling program, which seemed a little too good to be true.
Free recycling of all CFLs and most fluorescent tubes at all stores in America. It seemed too good to be true, so I grabbed a couple of CFLs before I went to ACE to get a couple of screws I needed. I didn't see any bins, or signs advertising the effort, which is a little discouraging, but when I asked an employee, he simply opened his palms, and I passed off the bulbs.
The recycling bin is backstage, apparently for safety reasons (I guess you don't want to have a bunch of fragile glass bulbs of mercury hanging around where someone could drop a pant can on them.)
A simple process, yes, but I wish it were more widely publicized and well known. The fact that there were no messages advertising the program in the store was a little discouraging, but I salute ACE, as a coast-to-coast retailer who is the first to provide CFL recycling in a town near you. There are over 4,300 ACE stores, if you want to see if there's one near you, check out this handy utility.