You probably didn't, as the state hasn't exactly done a great job of letting people know.  CFL's, or compact fluorescent lights, are most commonly known as the "curly tail" bulbs that often don't fit inside standard lampshades.  But they are going to cost you $.25 cents more all across the state, starting  January 1st.

You didn't know that?   Probably very few did, unless you're a retailer who sells them.  In FACT, three different Google searches turned up NOTHING about the price increase. Newstalk 870 learned of it from one of our business partners.

Here's what's happening, and why.    Beginning January 1st, every retailer, regardless if it's Walmart, or Lowes,  Home Depot or WinCo,  will be charging an additional $.25 cents for every CFL bulb sold.   So, a four pack is going to cost you $1.00 more.

The money will not be kept by the retailers, but instead sent to a group contracted by Washington state to spearhead a CFL bulb recycling effort.   Since January 1st. 2013, state law prohibits anyone in Washington state from knowingly throwing a CFL bulb in the trash, but there's been virtually no enforcement.

Now, the state is firing up a recycling program, and that's where the money will be going.  Bins have already been arriving at some of the initial 100 businesses that will be packaging and sending the toxic bulbs to recycling centers.

Again, a thorough internet search has turned up nothing about the recycling program, but we learned of it on good authority.

The future of CFL bulbs is rather, pardon the expression, dim.    LED bulbs are fast replacing them for longevity, less heat generation, and cost effectiveness.  Not to mention the explosion of the LED Christmas light market.  Many in the light bulb industry believe in a number of years, they will virtually go away.   The big reason?   The high mercury content in the bulbs.  So much so, that the EPA and state environment officials consider them to be a hazard if they break.   They cannot be placed in landfills because thousands of decaying or broken bulbs would cause noticeable mercury contamination.

But there are still hundreds of thousands of them out there, and they're still being sold and used.  So the state is attempting to beef up it's CFL recycling program, and starting in the new year,  it's going to cost YOU the consumer.

The source we spoke with here at Newstalk 870 predicts the price increase will cause a significant decrease in the sale of CFL bulbs over the next year.

We have been told the $.25 charge will show up as an extra line item on the receipt you get at the store, so keep an eye out for it.


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