How to dispose of lightbulbs

EPA suggests that customers make the most of offered regional choices for recycling CFLs, fluorescent bulbs and other bulbs which contain mercury, and all other home contaminateds materials, instead of dealing with them in routine home garbage.

Why is Recycling CFLs Important?

Recycling avoids the release of mercury into the environment. CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs typically break when tossed into a dumpster, garbage can or compactor, or when they wind up in a land fill or incinerator. Discover more about CFLs and mercury.

  • Other products in the bulbs get recycled. Recycling CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs permits reuse of the glass, metals and other products that comprise fluorescent lights. Practically all parts of a fluorescent bulb can be recycled.
    • Your location might restrict disposal and/or need recycling. Some states and regional jurisdictions have more strict guidelines than U.S. EPA does, and might need that you recycle CFLs and other mercury-containing light bulbs. Check Out search.Earth911 com Exit to call your regional waste debt collection agency, which can inform you if such a requirement exists in your state or region. We know that the list below states restrict mercury-containing lights from being disposed of into land fills: The following links leave the website Exit
      • California
      • Maine
      • Massachusetts
      • Minnesota
      • New Hampshire (PDF) (3 pp, 62 K, About PDF)
      • Vermont
      • Washington

    How and Where Can I Recycle CFLs?

    The brief response is: go to search.Earth911 com Exit to learn.


    • Waste debt collector
    • Regional merchants
    • Mail-back services

    Contact your regional waste debt collection agency

    • supply services that are normally totally free, though some might charge a little charge.
    • often gather home contaminateds materials just one or two times a year, so citizens will need to hang on to their light bulbs till the collection occurs. Other debt collector supply collection services throughout the year.
    • might likewise gather paints, pesticides, cleaning up batteries or materials.
    • normally accept waste just from citizens, although some collection programs consist of little services.

    Go to your regional merchants

    Numerous hardware supply shops and other merchants provide in-store recycling.

    Check Out search.Earth911 com Exit to discover shops in your location or inspect the list listed below.

    Ensure you inspect straight with the shop prior to you go; not all shops in across the country or local chains might take part, and some shops might recycle just particular kinds of bulbs (for instance, a shop might recycle CFLs however not 4-foot fluorescent tubes).


    • Aubuchon Hardware shop areas
    • Bartell Drugs save locator
    • House Depot shop locator
    • Ikea shop locator
    • Lowe’s shop locator
    • TrueValue shop locator
    • Other and retail areas in particular counties and states:
      • Maine
      • Massachusetts
      • Minnesota
      • City of Napa and southern Napa County, California
      • San Francisco, California
      • San Mateo County, California
      • Vermont

    Learn about mail-back services

    Some bulb producers and other companies offer pre-labeled recycling packages that permit you to mail utilized bulbs to recycling. The expense of each set consists of shipping charges to the recycling. You fill a package with old bulbs, seal it, and bring it to the post workplace or leave it for your postal provider. Sites that supply more info about mail-back services.

    Please Keep In Mind

    • U.S. EPA does not back, advise, accredit, authorize or license of these services;
    • there might be other comparable services of which we are not mindful; and
    • we just supply these links as a benefit to our web visitors.

    What If I Can’t Recycle?

    If your state or regional ecological regulative firm allows you to put utilized or broken CFLs in the routine home garbage, seal the bulb in a plastic bag and put it into the outdoors garbage for the next typical garbage collection.

    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    Lightbulb disposal 101

    September 16, 2019

    Many people remain in the dark when it concerns lightbulb disposal, with excellent factor. Almost every nation and area has its own lightbulb disposal and recycling policy, and there are several kinds of bulbs, each with their own unique requirements. Not surprising that it’s so difficult to keep an eye on what goes where.

    In spite of local distinctions, some things apply no matter where you are. Let’s have a look at the lots of kinds of lightbulbs presently in usage and the basic standards that do use in a lot of locations. Avoid to the list at the end of this post if you’re looking for regional recycling depots or info on particular guidelines in your nation.


    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs utilize much less energy than older styled bulbs, that makes them popular. One of the parts that make them so energy effective is mercury. Due to the fact that toxic substances permeate into land fill groundwater and make their method into our drinking supply, Mercury is dangerous and need to not be tossed away in your routine trash. If processed properly, the excellent news is that the glass, metal and mercury parts of a CFL bulb can all be recycled and recycled. Recycling guidelines vary from location to location, so consult your regional recycling and waste collection workplaces (see the list of depots at the bottom of this post).

    Due to their mercury material, these bulbs can be dangerous, particularly if you have kids or family pets in your home. Follow the in-depth guidelines on the United States EPA site if you need to clean up a damaged CFL bulb. Ensure the damaged pieces are covered thoroughly, and consult your regional waste debt collection agency for correct disposal guidelines. Once again, due to the fact that these bulbs include mercury, they need to not be thrown out with your routine garbage unless your town particularly informs you to do so.


    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    Incandescent bulbs and lights can be tossed into the garbage. Cover it initially in paper or plastic prior to putting it in your garbage bin if a bulb is broken. This avoids damaged edges from cutting through your trash can and developing a mess, and it assists safeguard you and your waste hauler from unintentional injury.

    If the bulbs are undamaged and you have an innovative streak, you can likewise attempt upcycling them. Incandescent light bulbs can be become Christmas accessories, little vases for little plants or mini lights– you can discover countless enjoyable concepts on Pinterest alone. Make sure you take correct security preventative measures prior to attempting out any of these Do It Yourself jobs. Preparing an incandescent bulb for crafting can be challenging, so follow a guide to burrowing a bulb.


    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs do not include mercury however are made with other dangerous compounds such as lead and arsenic. Numerous neighborhoods will decline these bulbs in their recycling program, which suggests many people toss their stressed out bulbs in the garbage, by default. This suggests lead and arsenic end up in the land fill and, undoubtedly, back in the water stream. If they accept LEDs as part of their unique collection services, inspect with your regional recycling center and ask.

    Halogen bulbs

    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    Halogen bulbs include halogen gas, which suggests they are not quickly recycled, and lots of neighborhoods advise you toss these bulbs in the garbage. If this holds true in your city or town, make certain you put the utilized bulb back into its container or container or cover the bulb to avoid it from shattering. To keep these bulbs out of your land fill, ask your regional recycling center if they have an unique collection policy for halogens.

    Fluorescent tubes

    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    Fluorescent tubes include mercury that makes them tough and dangerous to recycle. Dealing with fluorescent tubes can be hazardous, too, as they are large and long and simple to break. Fluorescent tubes are thought about to be universal (i.e. dangerous) waste and are declined by curbside collection due to the fact that their fragility and possibly poisonous parts make them hazardous to the environment and sanitation employees. Numerous recycling centers will accept fluorescent tubes for processing through unique programs, so be sure to inspect with your regional depots for collection times and treatments.

    Drop Off Depots (Particular to Nation)


    Aside from routine community recycling centers, lots of merchants within Canada have recycling programs that accept stressed out bulbs. To make the most of these services, go to these (or comparable) retail websites and look for an area near you. Contact your regional shop and ask what in-store recycling services they supply:

    If none of these merchants have shops in your location, or if your regional website does decline bulbs, go to LightRecycle for other choices.

    United States

    In addition to your routine community collection services, lots of merchants and companies in the U.S. accept stressed out bulbs. Browse the following companies and merchants to discover an area near you, and ask about their bulb collection choices:

    If you do not have these merchants near you, the Earth 911 site has an online search engine to assist you discover other disposal depots in your location.


    Many energy effective bulbs are accepted at significant recycling. Locals can discover their closest recycling center by checking out Recycling Near You.

    To find recycling centers in your location, search on Recolight.

    New Zealand

    You can learn more about lightbulb disposal and recycling in New Zealand here.

    Utilizing the What goes where? search tool for lightbulb disposal

    For city particular info concerning the correct lightbulb disposal go to the Recycle Coach homepage and key in the city or town that you reside in. If your town is registered, you will have the ability to utilize the What goes where? search tool to learn precisely where you can drop off lightbulbs in your neighborhood. Be sure to sign up for updates that will let you understand when the tool ends up being offered for your location if your town is not signed up.

    Required particular info for where you live?

    Wondering about recycling guidelines for products in your town? Utilize our Discover My Town tool and discover recycling info particular to your town.

    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    Upgraded August 2019

    How do you dispose your light bulbs? Think about light bulb recycling rather if you just toss them away in the garbage bin. While a lot of light bulbs aren’t dangerous, they do provide some recyclable parts.

    Prior to we enter light bulb recycling, it is essential to comprehend the various kinds of bulbs. You’ll discover: incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFLs), light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and halogen lights. Typically, all 4 types can be recycled in the exact same location. There’s even a good network of recycling websites across the country and in San Francisco.

    With a lot of out there, it’s difficult to keep an eye on how to get rid of light bulbs. That’s why we have actually developed this fast guide to get you began!

    How to recycle incandescent light bulbs

    Incandescent light bulbs normally do not include any dangerous chemicals. They are quite simple to recycle due to the fact that of this. Just position your burnt out light bulbs in the recycling bin or drop off at the nearby recycling. Please wrap in some sort of cushioning for security if broken.

    How to recycle halogen light bulbs

    Typically utilized as outside flood lights, halogen bulbs are advanced than routine incandescents. While they are more effective, they burn at a greater temperature level and cost more. These bulbs normally do not include dangerous products and can securely be recycled. Position them in the recycling bin or drop off at a recycler.

    How to recycle LED light bulbs

    These bulbs are 90% more effective than incandescents and include no dangerous chemicals. This makes dealing with LED light bulbs simple. While you can securely toss them away in a garbage or recycling can, these bulbs have recyclable parts. Take them to your regional recycler rather to make sure they’re put to excellent usage.

    How to recycle fluorescent light bulbs

    You might be questioning, “Can I put fluorescent light bulbs in the garbage?” The response is no. These bulbs include about 4 milligrams of mercury, a hazardous metal. Broken CFL bulbs can be dangerous to the environment and supply of water if left in a land fill (for info about what to do when a light bulb breaks, have a look at our blog site here). Do not toss these light bulbs in with other garbage or recycle products due to the fact that of their toxicity. When recycling, you need to keep fluorescent light bulbs different. Bring them to the nearby certified recycling.

    Now all you have to do is discover your nearby light bulb recycling!

    Light Bulb Recycling Locations in San Francisco

    Cliffs Range
    (415) 431-5365
    479 Castro St
    San Francisco, CA 94114
    www. cliffsvariety com/

    Rainbow Grocery
    (415) 863-0620
    1745 Folsom St
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    www. rainbow cage/

    City Lights
    (415) 863-2020
    1585 Folsom St
    San Francisco, CA 94103

    Light Bulb Recycling Locations Outdoors San Francisco

    Many hardware shops, consisting of Ace Hardware, House Depot, and Lowe’s, have light bulb recycling programs. These programs differ by area, so it’s a great concept to employ advance. We advise utilizing the Earth911 site. Here, you can look for the light bulb recycling areas closest to you.

    When recycling light bulbs,

    Thank you for doing your part! If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to call us at (650) 493-8700

    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    James Kao is the founder/CEO of GreenCitizen, which offers product or services that assist make every day Earth Day. He’s enthusiastic about information and sustainability, with a deep background in introducing, financing, and handling effective tech business. James takes pleasure in investing quality time with his household, treking, taking a trip, enjoying reliable documentaries, and consuming excellent healthy food. find out more “

    Find out the correct method to trash those burnouts– a few of which include poisonous parts– to keep your household and the environment safe.

    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    If you just recently set out to update your house with more energy-efficient light bulbs, you have actually most likely seen there’s a larger choice of light bulb ranges offered today than ever previously, with some developed to last as long as 50,000 hours. Even the most long-lasting bulb will stress out ultimately, nevertheless, and require to be tossed– together with those you look for to change. Prior to you toss any into the garbage, you need to understand that some popular light bulbs include poisonous parts that are dangerous to human health and can adversely affect the environment. Keep checking out to discover the how to deal with light bulbs properly, be they incandescents, halogens, or almost any other kind of light bulb in your house. Now that’s seeing the light!

    HOW TO ELIMINATE … Incandescent Bulbs

    Incandescent light bulbs, the old standby we count on for our reading lights and overhead components given that the early 1900 s, are gradually being edged out by greater effectiveness variations. They usually just burn for 700 to 2,000 hours, and you can still discover some lower-wattage incandescent bulbs on shop racks. They include a wire filament in a thin, sealed glass bulb, however no poisonous chemicals, so these bulbs can be securely discarded in your routine home waste (not recycling, due to the fact that the small wire filaments are too tough to eliminate throughout the glass recycling procedure). They are delicate, nevertheless, and if they break, the sharp glass might pierce a plastic trash can, posturing a threat of injury to you or to a sanitation employee. Whether yours has actually stressed out or is phasing out for a more energy-efficient design, make sure to slip a burned-out incandescent bulb into another kind of non reusable product packaging, such as an utilized cereal box, prior to putting it in the garbage.

    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    HOW TO ELIMINATE … Halogen Bulbs

    Comparable to incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs include wire filaments, which are sealed under pressure in thick, high-silica glass bulbs. They are a sophisticated kind of incandescent bulb and can be utilized in basic lighting components, developed for both outside and indoor usage. Halogen bulbs, which last 2,000 to 4,000 hours, can be gotten rid of in your routine home waste (their great wires avoid them from being recyclable). While halogen bulbs are less most likely to break than incandescent bulbs due to the thicker glass, it’s still smart to position them in another kind of non reusable product packaging prior to tossing them out.


    Rapidly ending up being the energy-efficient bulb of option in American houses, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) produce light by sending out electrons through a semiconductor product, activating a procedure called “electroluminescence,” which resembles the method a laser works. They not just supply lasting lighting of 35,000 to 50,000 hours and utilize a portion of the energy their incandescent predecessors do, LED bulbs are likewise safe to deal with in your home waste. To date, no nationwide LED recycling efforts or guidelines exist, however if you ‘d choose to recycle, call your regional recycling center to see if they take LEDs. You can likewise browse online for an LED recycler, such as HolidayLEDs, which accepts pre-owned LED Christmas lights at no charge (other than shipping).

    Recycling is ending up being more popular, and due to the fact that LEDs do not include the great wires that avoid the recycling of halogen and incandescent ranges, you’re most likely to see more LED recycling choices in the future. Up until then, if you can’t discover a practical drop-off area, felt confident that LEDs will not launch hazardous toxic substances into the environment if chucked in your routine garbage.


    HOW TO ELIMINATE … Fluorescent Tubes

    These long tubes are energy lasting and effective (a common fluorescent bulb lasts 24,000 to 36,000 hours), making them favorites for workshops and other locations where intense, economical lighting is wanted. Fluorescent tubes include mercury– an ecological contaminant– and need to not be tossed out with common home waste. As of 2018, recycling fluorescent tubes is the law in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, and more states are bound to follow with these guidelines. Numerous house enhancement shops like House Depot and Lowe’s, along with other significant merchants, provide fluorescent recycling collection stations where customers can drop off their old tubes totally free of charge. Check Out Earth 911 and get in “fluorescent tubes” and your postal code to discover a list of collection websites near you.

    Disposing of a damaged fluorescent tube needs additional care, given that a percentage of mercury vapor leaves when television breaks. Follow the actions listed below for the safe clean-up and disposal of CFLs if you need to dispose of a damaged fluorescent tube.


    Quickly recognizable by their narrow glass tubes, twisted into curlicue shapes, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) suit basic lights and last 8,000 to 20,000 hours. Like fluorescent tubes, CFLs include trace little bits of mercury and need to be recycled, never ever disposed in the routine garbage. Check Out Earth 911 and get in “CFLs” and your zip code for areas of regional collection. You can likewise discover mail-in programs online; they send disposal packages with a pre-addressed container in which you can securely mail your old CFLs (they run anywhere in between $30 and $70, depending upon the number of CFLs they hold).

    Clean-up and Disposal of Damaged CFLs

    If you drop a CFL bulb and break it, the United States Epa suggests the following safe disposal approach:

    • Send out everybody (consisting of family pets) out of the space and air the space out for 10 minutes.

    • Switch Off your HEATING AND COOLING system to avoid flowing possibly poisonous mercury vapor.

    • Do not vacuum, which might disperse mercury vapor in the space.

    • Usage stiff paper, such as an index card to scoop up the damaged little bits of glass and powder residue, and deal with it in a plastic bag or a glass container.

    • Utilize the sticky side of duct tape to raise any recurring little bits of glass or powder from the surface area.


    • Usage non reusable damp wipes or damp paper towels to clean the location tidy and location wipes in the plastic bag or glass container together with the damaged glass and utilized duct tape.

    • Contact your regional waste authority or inspect the Earth 911 to find a collection station near you.

    If your state or neighborhood does not control the disposal of CFLs, and no recycling center comes in handy, the EPA recommends putting an utilized (or broken) CFL in a plastic bag and after that putting it in your outdoors garbage can for pickup.

    If you remain in the routine of tossing your stressed out light bulbs in the garbage, you may be slipping up. There might be a recycling drop-off point right in your area, however more significantly, some light bulbs need to be recycled for the good of the environment.

      If left in a land fill


    • Some light bulbs include dangerous products that can infect water and soil.
    • Your curbside recycling service may take light bulbs, however do your research study to discover the best location to recycle them
    • Some states and regional jurisdictions have laws that determine light bulb disposal

    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    Kinds Of Light Bulbs to Recycle

    For the functions of recycling, a lot of light bulbs suit among 3 classifications:

    1. Incandescent light bulbs and halogen light bulbs do not include any dangerous products, so it’s appropriate to toss these straight into the garbage. They are recyclable, however due to the fact that of the specialized procedures required to separate the products, they’re not accepted at all recycling.
    2. CFL bulbs and other fluorescent bulbs include trace quantities of mercury, a dangerous product. They’re safe to utilize in your house, however when they wind up in a land fill, they can infect soil and water. There are lots of locations to recycle these bulbs, however you need to constantly confirm that CFLs are accepted prior to taking them to any recycling.
    3. LED bulbs are non-toxic and constructed to last for many years, however they can still be rendered worthless due to damage, flaw or aging. LEDs are accepted by some recycling centers, consisting of some that concentrate on recycling customer electronic devices, however the typical recycling center isn’t geared up to process them.

    Where to Recycle Light Bulbs

    1. Curbside recycling

    If you have curbside recycling service through your town or a personal business, you need to start your search on the service’s site. There need to be a detailed list of what products are accepted, and lots of services will note products that are particularly declined.

    You need to not anticipate your curbside recycler to take CFLs, as curbside recycling is a rough-and-tumble service and fluorescent bulbs launch their mercury as quickly as they break. It’s possible that your recycler will take other kinds of bulbs, however do not presume that they will.

    How to dispose of lightbulbs

    2. Sellers and Recycling Centers

    If you can’t recycle them curbside, the next action is to look for a recycling center near you with a site like Earth911 or Recycle Country. You can browse based upon various kinds of light bulbs, and you may even find some neighboring processors that accept products you didn’t even understand you might recycle.

    Searchable recycling center databases are terrific methods to discover chain merchants that supply light bulb recycling bins, particularly for CFLs. Numerous House Depot, Lowe’s and IKEA shops accept old bulbs.

    3. Mail-In Recycling

    If you still do not have a practical method to recycle light bulbs where you live, there’s yet another method, however it might cost you. Business like Lampmaster Recycling and EZ on the Earth deal light bulb recycling by mail. You can purchase a pre-paid, long lasting container online, then simply fill it with light bulbs and send it back. This can be pricey, however if you reside in a remote area, it might be the very best choice for keeping your old light bulbs out of the land fill.

    Know Your Regional Recycling Laws

    In some states and regional jurisdictions, it protests the law to toss a CFL bulb into the routine garbage. Jurisdictions with these requirements likewise tend to have a variety of hassle-free recycling services.

    The Epa keeps a list of state laws suitable to light bulb recycling, however it does not track regional laws. Call your regional town hall, waste debt collection agency or recycling center to ask about whether there are any light bulb recycling laws in your location.