How to dispose of light bulbs with mercury

EPA advises that customers make the most of readily available 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 enables 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 forbid disposal and/or need recycling. Some states and regional jurisdictions have more rigid policies than U.S. EPA does, and might need that you recycle CFLs and other mercury-containing light bulbs. Go To 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 area. We understand that the list below states forbid 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 discover.


    • Waste debt collection agency
    • Regional merchants
    • Mail-back services

    Contact your regional waste debt collection agency

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

    See your regional merchants

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

    Go To search.Earth911 com Exit to discover shops in your location or examine the list listed below.

    Ensure you examine 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 specific 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 specific counties and states:
      • Maine
      • Massachusetts
      • Minnesota
      • City of Napa and southern Napa County, California
      • San Francisco, California
      • San Mateo County, California
      • Vermont

    Discover mail-back services

    Some bulb makers and other companies offer pre-labeled recycling sets that enable you to mail utilized bulbs to recycling. The expense of each package 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 offer more details about mail-back services.

    Please Keep In Mind

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

    What If I Can’t Recycle?

    If your state or regional ecological regulative company 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 regular garbage collection.

    Among the most convenient methods to go green around your house is to change your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). Despite the fact that these bulbs will last approximately 10 years, when they stress out you’ll wish to recycle them since they include mercury.

    CFL Recycling Preparation

    1. When eliminating a burnt-out CFL from a light, you initially wish to disconnect the light to avoid electrocution. If you’re changing a CFL in a wall component, make sure to turn off the fuse box offering power to that area of the home.
    2. If the bulb breaks, here’s what to do. There’s no recycling market for damaged fluorescent lights.
    3. If it breaks throughout transport,

    4. Put the CFL in a plastic zipper bag to avoid any mercury from dripping. Do not load numerous CFLs in the exact same bag, as this will increase the possibility of them breaking.
    5. You can take your CFLs to an antifreeze, batteries, oil, paint (ABOP) center or home contaminated materials occasion. They are likewise accepted at all House Depot, IKEA and Lowe’s shops in the U.S., along with numerous local chains. Discover a drop-off place near you utilizing our Recycling Locator.

    Why Recycle CFLs

    • Each CFL includes 4 milligrams of mercury, which is safe when the bulb is possibly hazardous however undamaged if the bulb breaks in a land fill and goes into the water stream
    • 7 states have actually prohibited lights including mercury from land fills
    • Mercury is a rare-earth element in minimal supply, so recycling even the trace amounts in a CFL in brand-new items is essential

    CFL Recycling Process

    CFLs are delivered to a bulb recycler that utilizes unique makers to break and draw out the mercury down the aluminum components and glass case. Mercury can be recycled in brand-new bulbs or items like thermostats. Aluminum is recycled as scrap metal, and the glass is downcycled into products like ceramic or concrete tile.

    Regular CFL Recycling Questions

    Extra Checking Out

    • 10 Things You Can Recycle Through the Mail: CFLs are simply among numerous items that you can send by mail for recycling if regional choices aren’t readily available
    • CFLs, incandescents and leds, Oh My!: A valuable source for picking the best lighting choice for your house
    • I Broke a CFL. Now What?: A detailed guide for what to do if you break a fluorescent light

    Mercury-containing lights are the single biggest classification of items which contain mercury and a considerable portion of waste mercury-containing lights wind up in land fill each year. Mercury-containing lights can be recycled to recuperate the mercury, along with the plastic, glass and phosphor powder, they include.

    Mercury in lights

    Mercury-containing lights consist of whatever from the little compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) utilized mainly in houses to the fluorescent tubes frequently utilized in workplaces and high strength discharge (HID) lights utilized for street lighting and sports premises. Percentages of essential mercury are necessary for the operation of these lights.

    Typically, the greater the power use, the more mercury that is needed to run the light. Mercury-containing lights consist of:

    • HID lights, such as mercury vapour lights utilized for street lighting, which include in between 50 and 1000 milligrams (mg) of mercury per light
    • direct fluorescent tubes, as utilized in the majority of public and industrial structures, which are needed by an Australian requirement to include less than 15 mg of mercury per tube
    • CFLs utilized mainly in houses, which are needed by an Australian Requirement to have an optimum of 5 mg of mercury per bulb
    • some neon tubes, as utilized in indications.

    Even without recycling of waste lights, utilizing CFLs releases less mercury into the environment than utilizing incandescent light bulbs. Since burning coal to produce electrical power releases mercury, this is. CFLs utilize just about 20 percent of the electrical power that incandescent bulbs utilize to produce the exact same quantity of light, for that reason needing less electrical power to be produced. The outcome is that usage of CFLs launches about 80 percent less mercury than incandescent light bulbs.

    FluoroCycle: increased recycling of mercury including lights

    FluoroCycle ( is a voluntary, nationwide plan that intends to increase recycling of mercury-containing lights from the public and industrial area lighting sectors. Those sectors represent the biggest usage of mercury-containing lights.

    Disposing of mercury-containing lights

    Garbage disposal and handling is mostly a state and city government duty in Australia. Some states do not enable disposal to land fill of big quantities of mercury-containing lights, such as those produced by councils, organizations, or organisations.

    Please talk to your regional authority to identify what conditions use where you live.

    Damaged lights

    Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin and direct exposure ought to be prevented. The short-term nature of the possible direct exposure to mercury from a damaged CFL or fluorescent tube– especially after reliable clean-up of light product– does not make up a considerable health threat to exposed grownups, pregnant females or kids.

    The United States Epa supplies a recommended treatment for tidying up a damaged CFL at:

    Specialized recyclers

    An option to land fill disposal is taking mercury-containing lights to specialized recyclers who have the ability to securely recuperate not just the mercury, however likewise the phosphor, glass and aluminium included in the lights. Recuperated mercury is frequently offered to the oral market, where it is utilized in amalgam for fillings. A variety of business offer mercury-containing light recycling services in Australia.

    The majority of light recyclers gather big amounts of lights from capital cities and picked local locations for transportation to a mercury-recycling center. Tubes and cfls can likewise be published to recyclers in special-purpose containers.

    Collection programs and drop-off points

    A number of states have home chemical collection programs and/or drop-off points that accept domestic amounts of CFLs and fluorescent tubes for recycling.

    Please talk to your state environment company and/or regional authority to identify if there is a collection point near you and the types and amounts of lights accepted for recycling. The state department sites listed below might be of support.

    How to dispose of light bulbs with mercury

    When fluorescent tubes and other mercury-containing lights stress out, there are some easy actions to securely get rid of them.

    Fluoro tubes and compact fluorescent lights (CPLs) include percentages of mercury and are frequently discovered in work environments and houses.

    While there are just small amounts of mercury in each light, the countless fluorescent tubes and CFLs tossed in the bin each year make up the biggest source of mercury bound for Australian land fill.

    So when bulbs quit working and require to be altered, it is essential that old fluorescent lighting is recycled to prevent hazardous mercury seeping into waterways and the broader environment.

    Recycling fluorescent lighting likewise recuperates important products like glass, aluminium and phosphor that can be utilized in items like fertilizer and aluminium cans.

    Here are 3 simple actions you can take when you require to securely get rid of mercury-containing lights:

    1. Get rid of bulb, shop it someplace safe

    Initially, eliminate the bulb and shop it someplace safe up until it is all set to be recycled at a designated collection point.

    When you ought to put mercury-containing lighting in your bin at house is when the world is broken,

    The only time.

    If the world is broken, ensure you follow these actions to clean it up effectively, then finish up the damaged bulb and location it in your basic waste bin.

    2. Discover your regional recycling point

    Regional councils can gather various kinds of lighting, nevertheless it is essential to examine ahead.

    For instance, you will require to take fluorescent tubes to squander depots nevertheless, you might have the ability to leave CFLs at council workplaces.

    Companies such as IKEA likewise have drop-off points for utilized CPLs.

    You can go to the Recycling Near You site to discover your regional disposal point and discover more about the recycling programs in your state.

    3. If you have big volumes of lights

    , contact Ecocycle.

    If you have a service with commercial-scale quantities of utilized fluorescent lighting, then Ecocycle can assist.

    As Australia’s biggest lighting and mercury recycler, we offer a complete lighting recycling service from the supply of stillages and boxes, through to pick-up and arrangement of recycling certificates.

    We can gather all kinds of lighting, along with old ballasts, lighting frames that hold the tubes or worlds, and old circuitry.

    We can customize a recycling program to your requirements, so provide us a call on 130032 62 92 or fill in the type listed below to talk to among our lighting waste experts.