How to Properly Dispose of CFL Light Bulbs How to Properly Dispose of CFL Light Bulbs

Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, are an effective way of conserving energy in homes and businesses worldwide. As is the case with incandescent light bulbs, CFL light bulbs require proper disposal to avoid risks associated with the release of mercury once the light bulb has broken. 

When a CFL light bulb burns out, carefully remove the bulb and place in small, sealable bag. If possible, double bag the bulb for further protection. From this point forward, consumers have a few options available for disposing the light bulb properly.

  • Call your local solid waste agency to determine if recycling options are available in your area. A large number of solid waste agencies are working with the Environmental Protection Agency to establish recycling programs for light bulbs. From the metal end cap on the bulb itself to the mercury within the bulb, most of the components of a CFL light bulb are recyclable. 
  • Contact local retailers such as Lowe's, Home Depot and IKEA and ask if they provide a recycling program for CFL light bulbs. 
  • If recycling facilities are not available, consumers may put the CFL light bulb into the trash for collection with household garbage, being cautious to avoid breakage. 

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