Recycling at home or work has become part of our daily routine, but one ubiquitous device that still raises questions over disposal is light bulbs. Do they go out with the normal trash? Get tossed in recycling containers? Do you save them for the next neighborhood e-waste event? The answers aren’t easy, thanks in part to new technologies to Thomas Edison’s illuminating invention along with society’s growing environmental concerns.
Tips on Disposing Light Bulbs
Here’s a summary of tips by lighting category:
- CFL and fluorescent – Small amounts of the toxic chemical mercury make these bulbs harmful to your health and environment. Simply tossing them in the trash is unwise, and in some circumstances unlawful. Because broken CFL and fluorescent bulbs are damaging to the environment if they enter landfills or the water supply, more stringent and rigorous steps are required to dispose. A local home improvement store or recycling center might be able to take this work – and the bulbs – off your hands.
- LED – Safe as it is to dispose of LEDs in trash bins due to an absence of toxic chemicals, recycling them is still the best option from an environmental and safety perspective. Better than tossing them in your recycling container, locate a recycling center that accepts LEDs, which contain reusable components.
- Incandescent and halogen – Like LEDs, these types typically contain no toxic chemicals. Disposing them in a trashcan or recycling bin is one solution, but a better one is handing them over to a recycling center. Because glass in incandescents and halogens shatters easily, wrapping the bulbs in recyclable packaging materials is also smart.
Earthwise Hauling will gladly take in your E-waste and other junk in the Orange County area but we do not take light bulbs. We do have a link below that can help you locate the appropriate drop off location near you!
If you need help finding a recycling center that accepts bulbs, visit search.earth911.com or batteriesplus.com/t/recycling/Light-Bulb.