How to dispose of lightbulbs

Be taught the correct approach to trash these burnouts—some of which comprise poisonous elements—to preserve your loved ones and the surroundings secure.

How to dispose of lightbulbs

In the event you not too long ago set out to improve your property with extra energy-efficient mild bulbs, you’ve seemingly seen there’s an even bigger choice of mild bulb varieties out there right now than ever earlier than, with some designed to final so long as 50,000 hours. Even essentially the most enduring bulb will burn out finally, nevertheless, and want to be tossed—together with these you search to substitute. Earlier than you throw any into the trash, you need to know that some standard mild bulbs comprise poisonous elements which are hazardous to human well being and might negatively impression the surroundings. Hold studying to be taught the how to dispose of mild bulbs accurately, be they incandescents, halogens, or simply about every other sort of mild bulb in your house. Now that’s seeing the sunshine!

How to Get Rid of Incandescent Mild Bulbs

Incandescent mild bulbs, the previous standby we relied on for our studying lamps and overhead fixtures because the early 1900s, are slowly being edged out by increased effectivity variations. They usually solely burn for 700 to 2,000 hours, and you’ll nonetheless discover some lower-wattage incandescent bulbs on retailer cabinets. They comprise a wire filament in a skinny, sealed glass bulb, however no poisonous chemical substances, so these bulbs might be safely thrown away in your common family waste (not recycling, as a result of the tiny wire filaments are too troublesome to take away throughout the glass recycling course of). They’re fragile, nevertheless, and in the event that they break, the sharp glass might puncture a plastic rubbish bag, posing a threat of harm to you or to a sanitation employee. Whether or not yours has burnt out or is phasing out for a extra energy-efficient mannequin, be certain to slip a burned-out incandescent bulb into one other sort of disposable packaging, resembling a used cereal field, earlier than placing it within the trash.

How to dispose of lightbulbs

How to Get Rid of Halogen Mild Bulbs

Related to incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs comprise wire filaments, that are sealed beneath stress in thick, high-silica glass bulbs. They’re a complicated sort of incandescent bulb and can be utilized in normal lighting, designed for each indoor and outside use. Halogen bulbs, which final 2,000 to 4,000 hours, might be disposed of in your common family waste (their advantageous wires forestall them from being recyclable). Whereas halogen bulbs are much less seemingly to break than incandescent bulbs due to the thicker glass, it’s nonetheless sensible to place them in one other sort of disposable packaging earlier than tossing them out.

How to Get Rid of LED Mild Bulbs

Shortly turning into the energy-efficient bulb of selection in American properties, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) create mild by sending electrons by a semiconductor materials, triggering a course of referred to as “electroluminescence,” which has similarities to the way in which a laser works. They not solely present long-lasting illumination of 35,000 to 50,000 hours and use a fraction of the power their incandescent predecessors do, LED bulbs are additionally secure to dispose of in your family waste. Thus far, no nationwide LED recycling laws or initiatives exist, however if you happen to’d favor to recycle, contact your native recycling middle to see in the event that they take LEDs. You can too search on-line for an LED recycler, resembling HolidayLEDs, which accepts used LED Christmas lights at no cost (besides delivery).

Recycling is rising in popularity, and since LEDs don’t comprise the advantageous wires that forestall the recycling of incandescent and halogen varieties, you’re seemingly to see extra LED recycling choices sooner or later. Till then, if you happen to can’t discover a handy drop-off spot, relaxation assured that LEDs won’t launch dangerous toxins into the surroundings if chucked in your common trash.

How to Get Rid of Fluorescent Tube Lighting

These lengthy tubes are power environment friendly and long-lasting (a typical fluorescent bulb lasts 24,000 to 36,000 hours), making them favorites for workshops and different areas the place brilliant, cheap lighting is desired. Nonetheless, fluorescent tubes comprise mercury—an environmental toxin—and shouldn’t be thrown out with strange family waste. In actual fact, as of 2018, recycling fluorescent tubes is the legislation in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, and extra states are certain to observe with these laws. Thankfully, many residence enchancment shops like Residence Depot and Lowe’s, together with different main retailers, provide fluorescent recycling assortment stations the place shoppers can drop off their previous tubes free of cost. Go to Earth 911 and enter “fluorescent tubes” and your zip code to discover a listing of assortment websites close to you.

Disposing of a damaged fluorescent tube requires additional care, since a small quantity of mercury vapor escapes when the tube breaks. In the event you should dispose of a damaged fluorescent tube, observe the steps under for the secure clean-up and disposal of CFLs.

How to Get Rid of CFLs

Simply identifiable by their slim glass tubes, twisted into curlicue shapes, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) match into normal lighting fixtures and final 8,000 to 20,000 hours. Like fluorescent tubes, CFLs comprise hint bits of mercury and ought to be recycled, by no means dumped within the common trash. Go to Earth 911 and enter “CFLs” and your zip code for places of native assortment facilities. You can too discover mail-in applications on-line; they ship out disposal kits with a pre-addressed container in which you’ll be able to safely mail your previous CFLs (they run anyplace between $30 and $70, relying on what number of CFLs they maintain).


In the event you drop a CFL bulb and break it, the USA Environmental Safety Company recommends the next secure disposal technique:

  • Ship everybody (together with pets) out of the room and air the room out for 10 minutes.
  • Flip off your HVAC system to preserve from circulating doubtlessly poisonous mercury vapor.
  • Don’t vacuum, which might distribute mercury vapor within the room.
  • Use stiff paper, resembling an index card to scoop up the damaged bits of glass and powder residue, and dispose of it in a plastic bag or a glass jar.
  • Use the sticky aspect of duct tape to carry any residual tiny bits of glass or powder from the floor.
  • Use disposable moist wipes or damp paper towels to wipe the world clear and place wipes within the plastic bag or glass jar together with the damaged glass and used duct tape.
  • Contact your native waste authority or examine the Earth 911 to find a set station close to you.

In case your state or group doesn’t regulate the disposal of CFLs, and no recycling middle is helpful, the EPA suggests placing a used (or damaged) CFL in a plastic bag after which placing it in your exterior trash can for pickup.

Do you know that lightbulbs are thought of hazardous waste? It’s because they comprise mercury and different chemical substances that may trigger hurt to the surroundings.

These bulbs ought to by no means be thrown in your rubbish!

There are lots of steps concerned with disposing of a lightweight bulb, so learn on for extra data on correctly disposing of them.

How to dispose of lightbulbs

Information to Safely Disposing of Mild Bulbs of All Sorts


Recycling is a good way to dispose of previous incandescent mild bulbs.

These lamps are completely different from different hazardous wastes as a result of they comprise mercury which might be dangerous if leaked into the soil, water, or air, and mustn’t simply be thrown away for disposal.

The Worldwide Union of Pure and Utilized Chemistry (IUPAC) suggestion is to place incandescent mild bulbs in a plastic bag, fold the highest of the bag over at the very least 3 times and pinch it.

Put this ball right into a second plastic bag, fold the highest over, then go exterior and place it within the accurately labeled rubbish can.

Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFLs)

There are lots of unreliable sources on the web advising individuals to dispose of CFL bulbs within the trash.

The U.S. Environmental Safety Company (EPA) and Nationwide Recycling Coalition have each beforehand advisable throwing these fluorescent tubes away with different family waste however has since modified their place due to security issues.

There are a number of alternative ways to dispose of a compact fluorescent lamp. The best could also be merely taking the bulb, ballast, and tube to your native recycling middle totally free.

Native legal guidelines for this range, so it’s finest to examine how your area requires you to dispose of CFLs.


Halogen lamps ought to by no means be disposed of within the rubbish or down the sink; as a substitute, they need to at all times be recycled.

The wisest resolution can be to not dispose of the bulb by yourself and ask a technician with expertise.

Halogen lamps are made up of 4 elements – an encased quartz glass tube, filament, halogen gasoline inlet, and oxidizer used for thermal insulation.

Halogen lamps are usually thought of hazardous as a result of they will leak liquid vaporized mercury, posing risks even when left on a countertop in an enclosed storage.

Secure disposal of halogen lamps ought to be dealt with by a certified hauler.

Mild Emitting Diode (LED)

LEDs have a really low price of producing warmth power, and there are not any poisonous supplies in LEDs. So there isn’t a want to use a hazardous waste disposal technique for this product.

The legislation requires companies and households to recycle used mercury-containing objects as a substitute of disposing of them within the trash.

Some states even have necessities for taking care when disposing of them that transcend what’s required by federal legislation.

For instance; some require that these bulbs be damaged earlier than disposal; others ban disposal at landfills.

Suppose your state has no particular recycling necessities for these bulbs. In that case, they have to be disposed of within the trash in accordance to your native waste administration laws or observe directions supplied with the bulb.

Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent Tubes are constituted of a mixture of glass and metallic. They are often recycled by your native recycling plant.

Observe the directions in your city’s recycling bin for glass if it contains Fluorescent Tubes within the listing, or name your municipality to discover out how one can recycle them.

Some cities require that fluorescent tube items have security tape at each ends earlier than choosing them up, so be certain to do that earlier than you place them out for pickup.

You additionally need to guarantee all of the items are totally floor by working over them with a car, crushing them first, or breaking them into smaller items.

Different methods to Recycling/Reuse Lights bulb

Do you know that there are numerous different methods to recycle or reuse a lightweight bulb?

There’s an abundance of nice concepts on the market, they usually’re all straightforward to do. Right here’s some extra details about the completely different choices for recycling your previous lights.

    It’s attainable to donate them as half of a corporation’s fundraiser. Some organizations will even choose up the bulbs from your property totally free!
    You can too repurpose them in a brand new mission by utilizing them as a planter or vase. All you want is a few vegetation and water!
    You may additionally use it in your backyard, the place it might work nicely as a birdbath or patio ornament.

1. Do led mild bulbs want to be recycled?

LED lights don’t want to be recycled. This doesn’t imply that you need to throw them away.

It’s at all times good to recycle something that may be recycled, and these bulbs can truly nonetheless final for years, saving shoppers cash within the course of.

So you probably have any previous or used bulbs which are prepared to be thrown away, put them apart to allow them to be recycled in your profit in addition to for the surroundings’s sake! It actually doesn’t take a lot effort.

Simply by organizing and packing them accurately, it might imply an enormous distinction in individuals’s lives!

2. How to dispose of mild bulbs that comprise mercury?

The best and most secure approach is to preserve the bulb in a sealed bag or container till it’s time for correct disposal.

Put any damaged bulbs in a container, put the lid on, label it “damaged mercury-containing bulb,” and seal it shut.

Name your municipal stable waste company for directions on how to dispose of supplies with hazardous waste objects.

You can too take them to a close-by recycling station that accepts this stuff or the services
that settle for hazardous family waste.


Most Mild bulbs are poisonous to the surroundings, and we should dispose of them correctly.

Mild bulbs usually comprise mercury which is poisonous and might harm the surroundings if not disposed of correctly. It’s additionally unlawful to throw them within the trash or go away them out for metropolis choose up.

One of the simplest ways to dispose of your mild bulbs is at a recycling middle or by contacting the producer for disposal directions.

How to dispose of lightbulbs

With most trash, it’s fairly straightforward to resolve the place it goes — meals waste can go into the compost, rubbish disposal or into the kitchen trash. Glass, paper, cans and most plastics can go into the common recycling. However what do you do with previous mild bulbs or batteries? What about unused paint, expired medicines or that previous TV?

You could be tempted to simply toss these items within the common rubbish, however you actually shouldn’t. Some objects, like mild bulbs, and even previous TVs and home equipment, can comprise hazardous metals like lead and mercury. Nonetheless different widespread home items, like electronics, ought to be recycled as a result of they comprise valuable metals. Right here’s how to dispose of some of the commonest home items that shouldn’t simply go within the trash.


Single-use, alkaline batteries have been as soon as made with mercury, making them hazardous to throw away, however that’s not true. Now, these are secure to throw away, until you reside in California, the place recycling is obligatory for every type of batteries. You should utilize a useful resource like Earth911 to find battery recycling in your space, in addition to native recycling choices for different home items that may’t be thrown away.

Different sorts of batteries, together with button cell batteries, lithium and lithium-ion batteries, nickel-zinc rechargeable batteries, lead acid batteries, nickel-metal hydride batteries, and nickel-cadmium batteries, could comprise heavy metals and ought to be recycled.

In the event you’re questioning how to dispose of previous batteries, it’s possible you’ll want to do some homework. Button cell batteries, resembling these present in watches and listening to aids, may have to be mailed again to the producer for recycling. You could have the option to recycle the opposite sorts by your native waste administration middle, or at residence enchancment or workplace shops, which regularly provide drop containers for battery recycling. Take away batteries from electronics and canopy the terminals with clear tape earlier than recycling.

Good Telephones, Laptops and Tablets

Good telephones, laptops and tablets comprise valuable metals and ought to be recycled to decrease the necessity to mine these supplies anew. Most mobile phone carriers run applications that permit you to recycle your previous machine or donate it to somebody in want if it nonetheless works — you’ll be able to hand it over if you improve. Electronics shops like Finest Purchase additionally settle for gadgets for recycling. Merely take away your SIM card out of your telephone and wipe any information out of your machine with a manufacturing unit reset.

TVs, Microwaves and Different Home equipment

In lots of areas, you’re not allowed to put previous TVs and microwaves out with the common trash. Get rid of previous home equipment by hiring a junk elimination service to come choose them up. You could have the option to promote some home equipment, like microwaves, for scrap metallic. And most cities have a particular assortment day a few times a 12 months when residents can dispose of TVs, microwaves, fridges, mattresses and different objects they will’t often throw away, both by merely setting them on the curb or taking them to a particular location.

Mild Bulbs

The reply to the query of what to do with previous mild bulbs used to be straightforward — you could possibly simply throw them away. However the newer, energy-efficient compact fluorescent mild (CFL) bulbs comprise mercury, so that you shouldn’t toss them within the trash. Residence shops like Lowes settle for these bulbs for recycling, and your native recycling middle may settle for them.

Previous Paint

In case you have paint that you just don’t plan to use however continues to be good, you’ll be able to donate it to a charity like Habitat for Humanity, or you’ll be able to contact your native waste administration facility to ask about donating it in your space. In the event you want to throw previous latex paint away, combine it with kitty litter till it has solidified, then toss it within the trash and recycle the cans. Oil paint is taken into account hazardous waste, so contact your native waste administration facility for directions on how to dispose of it.

Expired or Unused Medicine

You must dispose of unused or expired remedy at an authorized disposal website — your pharmacist can level you in the correct path. In the event you don’t have one close by, you’ll be able to dispose of the remedy by crushing it up and mixing it with one thing unpalatable, resembling filth, used cat litter or meals waste, and sealing it in a plastic bag earlier than tossing it within the common trash. In case your remedy is a managed substance, nevertheless, the FDA recommends flushing it down the bathroom if you happen to can’t dispose of it at an authorized disposal website or legislation enforcement takeback middle.

Not each family merchandise might be tossed out within the trash if you’re prepared to dispose of it. Be sure you’re disposing of home equipment, mild bulbs, batteries and different home items accurately. Your well being, and the well being of the surroundings, might rely on it.

Feb. 12 2021, Up to date 4:42 p.m. ET

Because it occurs, many of the considerably innocuous objects we encounter on daily basis are literally fairly poisonous in sure conditions — even the lights proper above our heads. Fluorescent bulbs are a buzzing, commonplace fixture of many shops, places of work, and faculties, and the questions concerning how to correctly dispose of fluorescent bulbs are simply as widespread. Fortunately, we’ve managed to monitor down just a few secure and eco-friendly methods of doing so.

How to dispose of lightbulbs

How do fluorescent lights work?

In accordance to Hunker, fluorescent mild bulbs work equally to incandescent bulbs in that they each use electrical energy to warmth up a component inside a glass container full of inert gasoline. The lead to each circumstances is mild, although fluorescent bulbs final for much longer and burn a lot brighter than incandescent ones.

The component inside of fluorescent bulbs accommodates small quantities of liquid mercury, a really helpful although extremely poisonous metallic that reacts with the inert argon gasoline inside of the bulb to create mild. This mercury is what causes the fluorescent bulb’s added brilliance and it’s additionally what makes them so controversial in phrases of disposal.

How to dispose of lightbulbs

Here is how to dispose of fluorescent bulbs:

The Environmental Safety Company (EPA) recommends that customers wanting to dispose of fluorescent bulbs avail themselves of the recycling applications of their native space. As a result of of the mercury, the EPA considers fluorescent bulbs to be hazardous waste, which can’t be disposed of by regular means.

Can I throw out my fluorescent bulbs?

You definitely can, however you completely mustn’t, for a number of causes. First, most sanitation departments are strictly forbidden from taking fluorescent lightbulbs. Placing them out to the curb with the remainder of your rubbish might spell hassle for you and your sanitation staff. Fluorescent bulbs are very breakable and might shatter into 1,000,000 items if they don’t seem to be dealt with accurately. This may not be so dangerous, if not for the person elements inside the bulbs themselves — particularly, the mercury.

Releasing that mercury into the surroundings can be dangerous. The substance is sort of poisonous, even debilitating or lethal in some circumstances, in accordance to the World Well being Group. It’s additionally not nice for vegetation, soil, or wildlife, so throwing your previous fluorescent bulbs out with the common trash might pose a hazard to your self, your trusty sanitation staff, and the surroundings.

In accordance to the EPA, the next states particularly prohibit mercury-containing lamps from being discarded into landfills:

  • California
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Washington

How to dispose of lightbulbs

Can fluorescent bulbs be recycled?

Sure, fluorescent bulbs might be recycled. If dealt with correctly, the glass, metals, and different materials elements can all be recycled into different merchandise. After all, you’ll have to discover out if there are any recycling or disposal websites in your space first. You’ll be able to’t simply put them out with the cans and bottles. Additionally, observe that some states and native jurisdictions have extra stringent assortment strategies than others.

How to dispose of lightbulbs

The place to recycle fluorescent bulbs:

As with paint, antifreeze, and motor oil, recycling fluorescent bulbs may require somewhat additional homework. Name or examine your municipality’s web site for data on recycling fluorescent bulbs. They may present pickup occasions and places for such supplies. Many {hardware} shops and nationwide {hardware} retailers additionally provide in-store recycling of hazardous supplies, although not each one of these accepts fluorescent bulbs. Even people who do settle for them may solely take the smaller fluorescent bulbs and never the 4-foot ones.

Residence Depot’s web site explains that prospects can carry their previous fluorescent bulbs to the shop totally free recycling, although it could be a good suggestion to name and ask in case your native retailer has any restrictions first. In the event you’re nonetheless unsure the place to carry your previous bulbs, an incredible on-line useful resource is Earth911’s search software.

Posted: 16th Dec 2020 Creator: Moral Shift

There are lots of differing types of lightbulbs that comprise completely different chemical substances and supplies. Relying on the contents of the lightbulb they’ll want to be disposed of in another way. If you’re utilizing energy-efficient mild bulbs you’re able to recycle these. Take a look in your native space for recycling websites that may put these bulbs to good use and cease them from going to landfill.

How to Dispose of Incandescent Lightbulbs

Incandescent lightbulbs might be thrown out with the common garbage. They do not comprise any chemical substances that may trigger a problem inside the regular waste disposal system. In addition they cannot be simply recycled due to their building.

How to Dispose of Halogen Lightbulbs

Very similar to Incandescent lightbulbs, halogen lightbulbs might be discarded within the basic waste. They’re unable to be recycled simply so the one possibility is to ship them to landfill.

How to Dispose of CFL Lightbulbs

CFL Lightbulbs cannot be thrown out within the basic waste like Halogen and Incandescent lightbulbs. These Fluorescent lightbulbs comprise hazardous chemical substances resembling mercury and lead. These want to be disposed of correctly and dealt with with care.

Due to EU and US legislation, these bulbs want to be disposed of through a recycling firm. It is also the legislation that outlets that promote these merchandise want to have a recycling space within the retailer. In the event you want to dispose of your CFL lightbulb you’ll be able to merely take it to the shop and drop it off of their recycling bin.

In the event you break one of these lightbulbs in your house, you need to shut off all air-con and clear up the particles with safety resembling a masks and gloves. After doing so take it to your nearest recycling website and dispose of it there. After cleansing up you’ll be able to safely flip your air-con again on.

How to Dispose of LED Lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs might be thrown out within the basic waste as they comprise no dangerous chemical substances. With this in thoughts, it’s also possible to recycle LEDs, as LEDs come as separated bulbs inside an total bulb these nonetheless working LEDs can be utilized once more. If you need to do your bit for the surroundings and save these from going to landfill, search in your native space for LED lightbulb recycling.

With so many differing types of mild bulbs in the marketplace—from incandescent to fluorescent to LED—it may be unclear how to dispose of particular bulbs as soon as they burn out. In the event you’re throwing all of your bulbs straight into the trash, you could possibly be unknowingly contributing to environmental points.

The very fact is, some bulbs comprise hazardous supplies, which pollute water and soil in landfills and will trigger lasting harm. In some states and native municipalities there are even legal guidelines that regulate how sure bulbs have to be disposed of.

Fortunately, there are complete industries that exist to assist the general public correctly recycle dangerous bulbs. All it takes is a little analysis to know which of them go into the trash, which might or can’t be recycled curbside, and which have to be taken to a neighborhood drop-off station or facility for processing.

Here’s a helpful information, together with further data on how to dispose of every sort of bulb.


As a result of they’re free of poisonous chemical substances, and the power required to recycle them can exceed the power saved, normal incandescent and halogen bulbs might be thrown instantly into the common trash. Nonetheless, you may want to contemplate wrapping them in paper or different packing materials to keep away from tearing your trash baggage.

Prior to now, some large field retailers did settle for previous incandescent and halogen bulbs, however many have stopped their recycling applications. With discussions of phasing out incandescent bulbs going down in lots of international locations on nationwide and native ranges over the previous a number of years, it isn’t anticipated that these recycling applications will resume.

A standard mistake many individuals make is assuming that incandescent and halogen bulbs might be positioned within the recycling bin alongside different glass objects. This isn’t advisable, because the metallic wiring and different elements of these bulbs are robust to take away. They might even doubtlessly decelerate the sorting actions at recycling services, doing extra hurt than good.


CFL (compact fluorescent mild) bulbs comprise a really small quantity (roughly Four milligrams) of the poisonous metallic mercury. However that is sufficient to trigger environmental harm if the mercury seeps into the bottom at landfills or enters the water provide. Usually, CFL bulbs are accepted by many main retail chains—preserve a watch out for recycling bins within the entrance of shops. You can too seek the advice of web sites like to discover close by return facilities.

These long-tube fluorescent bulbs usually present in places of work additionally comprise mercury—they need to be recycled in the identical approach as CFLs. Earlier than eradicating an previous bulb, fastidiously wrap it in packing materials to keep away from breakage.

In accordance to the EPA, if you happen to do break a fluorescent bulb, there are particular protocols you need to observe. First off, DO NOT vacuum up the glass until you could have eliminated all of the mercury from the world. Vacuuming can additional unfold mercury powder or vapor into the air.

As a substitute, instruct individuals and pets to go away the fast space and air out the room for a great 5 to 10 minutes. Shut off the heating or A/C whether it is working. Then, gather all damaged materials by scooping the glass with stiff paper or cardboard and utilizing sticky tape, like duct tape, to choose up all remaining fragments. Put the used tape in a glass jar or plastic bag and put all supplies right into a sealable container. Lastly, you’ll be able to carry all of the damaged and unbroken materials to a close-by recycling middle or client electronics recycler.

LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are roughly 90% extra environment friendly than normal incandescent bulbs. They mild up utilizing {an electrical} present that passes by a microchip and illuminates many tiny semiconductor segments, referred to as diodes.

LEDs are free from any dangerous chemical substances and might be put within the rubbish can as a final resort. Nonetheless, not like old-school incandescents, there are a number of elements inside LED bulbs which are simply recyclable. Once more, examine an enormous field retailer and ask in the event that they recycle LEDs. There are even corporations specializing in recycling LED bulbs. One instance is HolidayLEDs, which is able to gladly settle for your previous vacation lights, and even allow you to ship them instantly to their services.

Right here’s a listing of assets to show you how to dispose of all of your bulbs within the most secure and most environmentally pleasant approach.

Earth 911 Recycling Search

This detailed recycling database options data on the place to recycle all the pieces from CFL bulbs to previous cell telephones, computer systems, and extra.

Recycle Nation

A recycling database together with eco-friendly articles and information.

EPA CFL Cleanup Protocols

EPA CFL Recycling Data

Product Compliance and Suitability

The product statements contained on this information are supposed for basic informational functions solely. Such product statements don’t represent a product suggestion or illustration as to the appropriateness, accuracy, completeness, correctness or currentness of the knowledge offered. Data offered on this information doesn’t substitute the use by you of any producer directions, technical product handbook, or different skilled useful resource or adviser out there to you. At all times learn, perceive and observe all producer directions.

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How to dispose of lightbulbs

Most individuals are in the dead of night when it comes to lightbulb disposal, with good purpose. Practically each nation and area has its personal lightbulb disposal and recycling coverage, and there are numerous differing types of bulbs, every with their very own particular necessities. No marvel it’s so laborious to preserve monitor of what goes the place.

In spite of regional variations, some issues maintain true regardless of the place you’re. Let’s check out the numerous sorts of lightbulbs at the moment in use and the overall tips that do apply in most locations. In the event you’re in search of native recycling depots or data on particular laws in your nation, skip to the listing on the finish of this publish.


Compact fluorescent mild (CFL) bulbs use a lot much less power than older styled bulbs, which makes them highly regarded. Sadly, one of the elements that make them so power environment friendly is mercury. Mercury is hazardous and should not be thrown away in your common rubbish as a result of toxins seep into landfill groundwater and make their approach into our ingesting provide. The excellent news is that the mercury, glass and metallic elements of a CFL bulb can all be recycled and reused if processed accurately. Recycling directions differ from place to place, so examine together with your native recycling and waste assortment places of work (see the listing of depots on the backside of this publish).

Due to their mercury content material, these bulbs might be hazardous, particularly you probably have youngsters or pets in the home. In the event you should clear up a damaged CFL bulb, observe the detailed directions on the US EPA web site. Make sure that the damaged items are wrapped fastidiously, and examine together with your native waste assortment company for correct disposal directions. Once more, as a result of these bulbs comprise mercury, they shouldn’t be tossed out together with your common trash until your municipality particularly tells you to achieve this.


Incandescent bulbs and lamps might be tossed into the trash. If a bulb is damaged, wrap it first in paper or plastic earlier than inserting it in your trash bin. This prevents damaged edges from chopping by your rubbish bag and creating a multitude, and it helps shield you and your waste hauler from unintended harm.

If the bulbs are intact and you’ve got a artistic streak, it’s also possible to strive upcycling them. Incandescent mild bulbs might be become Christmas ornaments, little vases for small vegetation or mini lamps – you’ll find 1000’s of enjoyable concepts on Pinterest alone. Nonetheless, be sure you take correct security precautions earlier than making an attempt out any of these DIY tasks. Making ready an incandescent bulb for crafting might be tough, so observe a information to hollowing out a bulb.


Mild-emitting diode (LED) bulbs don’t comprise mercury however are made with different hazardous substances resembling lead and arsenic. Many communities won’t settle for these bulbs of their recycling program, which implies most individuals throw their burnt out bulbs within the trash, by default. Sadly, this implies lead and arsenic find yourself within the landfill and, inevitably, again within the water stream. Examine together with your native recycling middle and ask in the event that they settle for LEDs as half of their particular assortment companies.

Halogen bulbs

Halogen bulbs comprise halogen gasoline, which implies they don’t seem to be simply recycled, and plenty of communities suggest you throw these bulbs within the trash. If that is so in your metropolis or city, be sure you put the used bulb again into its carton or container or wrap the bulb to forestall it from shattering. To maintain these bulbs out of your landfill, ask your native recycling middle if they’ve a particular assortment coverage for halogens.

Fluorescent tubes

Fluorescent tubes comprise mercury which makes them hazardous and troublesome to recycle. Dealing with fluorescent tubes might be harmful, too, as they’re lengthy and hulking and straightforward to break. Fluorescent tubes are thought of to be common (i.e. hazardous) waste and are usually not accepted by curbside assortment as a result of their fragility and doubtlessly poisonous elements make them dangerous to the surroundings and sanitation staff. Nonetheless, many recycling facilities will settle for fluorescent tubes for processing by particular applications, so be certain to examine together with your native depots for assortment occasions and procedures.

Drop Off Depots (Particular to Nation)


Other than common municipal recycling facilities, many retailers inside Canada have recycling applications that settle for burnt out bulbs. To take benefit of these companies, go to these (or related) retail websites and seek for a location close to you. Contact your native retailer and ask what in-store recycling companies they supply:

If none of these retailers have shops in your space, or in case your native website doesn’t settle for bulbs, go to LightRecycle for different choices.

United States

As well as to your common municipal assortment companies, many retailers and organizations within the U.S. settle for burnt out bulbs. Search the next retailers and organizations to discover a location close to you, and name to inquire about their bulb assortment choices:

In the event you would not have these retailers close to you, the Earth 911 web site has a search engine to show you how to discover different disposal depots in your space.


Most power environment friendly bulbs are accepted at main recycling facilities. Residents can discover their closest recycling middle by visiting Recycling Close to You.

To find recycling facilities in your space, search on Recolight.

New Zealand

Yow will discover out extra about lightbulb disposal and recycling in New Zealand right here.

Utilizing the What goes the place? search software for lightbulb disposal

For metropolis particular data concerning the correct lightbulb disposal go to the Recycle Coach homepage and sort within the metropolis or municipality that you just reside in. In case your municipality is signed up, it is possible for you to to use the What goes the place? search software to discover out precisely the place you’ll be able to drop off lightbulbs in your group. In case your municipality isn’t signed up, be certain to register for updates that may let you realize when the software turns into out there in your space.

How you dispose of a lightweight bulb depends upon which sort of mild bulb you could have and whether or not the bulb comes from your property or from a enterprise or property that you just handle.

Hazardous Waste: Don’t place in any carts, bins or dumpsters

How to dispose of lightbulbs

Compact fluorescent lights (CFL), fluorescent tubes, high-intensity-discharge (HID) bulbs, and neon indicators comprise mercury, which is dangerous to human well being and the surroundings, even in very small portions. Though Mild Emitting Diode (LED) mild bulbs and tubes don’t comprise mercury, many LED bulbs comprise different poisonous metals that are additionally dangerous in very small portions and require separate disposal not in any of your three bins. SFE recommends dealing with all LED mild bulbs as a hazardous waste utilizing the identical applications described under for fluorescent tubes and bulbs.

FROM YOUR HOME: San Francisco residents can go to a drop-off location close to you (many {hardware} shops settle for) or request a free family hazardous waste pick-up from Recology.

FROM YOUR BUSINESS OR PROPERTY YOU MANAGE: There are further necessities for disposal of hazardous waste lights utilized in a enterprise or within the widespread areas of a multi-family or business property. See our Factsheet for Companies (PDF) to be taught extra about correct dealing with, storage, and a variety of disposal choices.

Trash: San Francisco residents and companies can put these sorts of lights within the black landfill bin

How to dispose of lightbulbs

Incandescent bulbs and halogen bulbs don’t comprise mercury, so San Francisco residents, companies, and property managers can put them within the black landfill bin.

In the event you’re the sort of one that at all times strives to make eco-friendly selections in life (and if you happen to’re studying our weblog, you most likely are!), then you understand how troublesome and overwhelming recycling might be, particularly when it comes to sure objects.

How to dispose of lightbulbs

One of the commonest and perplexing recycling questions is how mild bulbs ought to be recycled. Sadly there isn’t a easy reply.

As a result of there are such a lot of differing types of mild bulbs in the marketplace, the reply is completely different for every sort. At this level you could be frightened about turning into much more confused about mild bulb disposal, however don’t fret.

After studying our information on mild bulb recycling, you’ll be armed with the data you want to correctly recycle this widespread family merchandise.

Incandescent Bulbs

How to dispose of lightbulbs

When most individuals think about a lightweight bulb, they image an incandescent mild bulb. It’s the sort Edison invented (or at the very least pioneered), the sort that seems above a cartoon character’s head after they have an excellent thought — you get the image. Whereas prized for his or her mushy, pure mild, incandescents are additionally the least eco-friendly form of bulb. They’re energy-inefficient and don’t final practically so long as the opposite varieties of mild bulbs on this listing.

Recycling incandescent bulbs isn’t as straightforward as placing them in your bin and bringing them curbside on recycling day. As a result of the melting level of their glass is completely different from other forms of recyclable glass, they might spoil a whole batch of regular curbside recycling and even harm a recycling plant’s equipment.

As a substitute of throwing them in together with your cardboard and plastic, you want to carry them to a particular recycling middle or drop-off location. Enter your zip code on to see locations close to you that recycle this sort of bulb. In your search, it’s possible you’ll even discover applications like Lampmaster Recycling Providers that permit you to recycle mild bulbs by a mail-back program. You can too contemplate TerraCycle for recycling any sort of mild bulb.

In the event you’re unable to go to one of these places or mail your incandescent bulbs to a recycling service, you’ll be able to safely dispose of them within the trash alongside the remainder of your family waste, as they don’t comprise any poisonous chemical substances.

Simply be certain to put them into some form of container. In the event that they shatter, they might puncture the rubbish bag and harm somebody.

Halogen Bulbs

How to dispose of lightbulbs

A halogen bulb is a kind of incandescent bulb that operates with larger effectivity than the usual incandescent mannequin. Whereas issues over fireplace security and environmental impression have led to halogens falling out of favor and even being banned in some international locations, they’re nonetheless extensively put in in purposes resembling floodlights and automobile headlamps.

As a result of halogens are a subset of incandescents, the directions for recycling them are the identical as above. Discover a native recycling middle that takes halogen mild bulbs and produce them there, or mail them to a recycling program. If neither possibility is on the market to you, they are often safely disposed of within the trash.

Compact Fluorescent Mild Bulbs

How to dispose of lightbulbs

When it comes to eco-friendliness, fluorescent mild bulbs massively outperform incandescents. A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) makes use of considerably much less power than a standard bulb. CFLs additionally final up to 10 occasions longer, that means they produce quite a bit much less waste than different bulbs.

There’s, nevertheless, one environmental challenge with fluorescents: they comprise very small quantities of mercury, a poisonous chemical that may trigger main well being points to people who find themselves uncovered. In accordance to the U.S. Environmental Safety Company (EPA), there are round 4 milligrams of mercury sealed inside the glass tubing of CFLs. Nonetheless, that is a particularly small quantity in contrast to older thermometers, which comprise roughly 500 milligrams of mercury. You would want over 100 CFL bulbs to match the quantity of mercury in a single of these thermometers.

Though no mercury is launched when the CFLs are in use, mercury vapor can escape when a CFL is damaged. Subsequently, it’s completely necessary to recycle mercury-containing CFLs at facilities succesful of dealing with them as a substitute of disposing of them within the common trash can or family recycling.

Main retailers resembling Residence Depot, Lowe’s and IKEA usually have drop-off facilities the place you’ll be able to carry your fluorescent bulbs. Do a search on to discover a close by location of one of these shops or one other CFL recycling middle that recycles fluorescents. These bulb recycling facilities settle for widespread family CFLs together with fluorescent lamps and the lengthy fluorescent tubes you may discover in an workplace or faculty.

LED Bulbs

How to dispose of lightbulbs

Utilizing 75% much less power and lasting 25 occasions longer than incandescent bulbs, light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs are essentially the most energy-efficient lighting selection in the marketplace. Their upfront price could also be a bit greater than different mild sources, however they’ll prevent tons of and even 1000’s of {dollars} over time as a result of they’re so environment friendly and long-lasting. In addition they pose nearly no fireplace threat as a result of they emit a lot much less warmth than different bulbs.

So how do you recycle these hi-tech gizmos as soon as they’ve lastly given out? In the event you want to dispose of LED Christmas lights, a number of recycling facilities — together with Residence Depot — will take them: click on right here for a listing.

However when it comes to different kinds of LEDs, your choices are extra restricted. You’ll be able to name native recycling facilities or TerraCycle to ask, however if you happen to don’t have any luck, you will have to mail your mild bulbs to a supplier referred to as Veolia, which seems to be the one supplier that at the moment takes all method of LED lights.

You could be questioning concerning the impression of throwing LEDs into the trash. Whereas it’s authorized and the EPA considers it secure to dispose of them in landfills, a 2011 examine discovered that LEDs could comprise unsafe ranges of lead, arsenic and different hazardous substances.

The jury continues to be out on the protection of LEDs, so the selection is up to you. Fortunately, LED bulbs final so lengthy, there could be extra analysis and extra recycling choices by the point you want to dispose of yours!

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