Snappy Salads wants to help North Americans lose 30,000 pounds by recycling energy-efficient fluorescent household light bulbs beginning January 2, 2009.

It is estimated that improperly disposed compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) contaminate the environment with 30,000 pounds of mercury each year in North America.

“The light bulb went off the other day,” says Chris Dahlander, founder of the two-unit restaurant chain. “I was looking in my junk drawer and couldn’t find anything because it was full of fluorescent light bulbs. I tried to find a place to recycle the bulbs, and was disappointed to find that there are few places in the Dallas area that offer CFL recycling. So, as a responsible member of this community, Snappy Salads will begin accepting CFLs at both locations and properly recycle them.”

Beginning January 2, Snappy Salads will begin accepting unbroken compact fluorescent light bulbs at both the Preston Forest location and NorthPark Center.

CFLs and other fluorescent light bulbs that are not properly disposed of release mercury into the environment through breakage and leakage. An estimated 670 million fluorescent light bulbs are discarded each year in the United States which equates to 2 to 4 tons of mercury per year into the environment. Once in the environment, mercury can contaminate the food chain.

If properly recycled, virtually all components of a CFL can be reused, most notably, the mercury can be made into new fluorescent light bulbs and other mercury-containing devices.

Much like Snappy Salads, recycling must be convenient in order to be successful. Dahlander challenges other local businesses to start a similar CFL recycling program and notes that, “regardless of your industry, helping our community stay healthy should be one of our top priorities.”