How to recycle your lightbulbs

Do you know how many light bulb sockets you have in your home or business?

With all of the bulbs… and replacing them, we often stop right before sticking it into the trash can and wonder, am I disposing of this properly?  When a light bulb burns out, you have several choices for replacing it…. but how do you dispose of it?

From incandescent to LEDs and fluorescents, how you dispose of them really depends upon the type of light bulb.  Taking it a step further and helping the planet, we are here to give you more information on how to recycle your bulbs.

Good Old-Fashioned Incadescents

One of the reason these light bulbs have been phased out, is because there are no recycling programs available for recycling these types of bulbs.  Do NOT place these bulbs into the recycling bins. We recommend that you wrap them in something that they can not tear through, for the protection of your sanitation worker, then placed into your regular solid waste container.  These are made with a different type of glass as they melt at much higher temperatures than typical glass.  Adding it to the recycling glass can completely ruin an entire batch of recycled glass.

 

LED Light Bulbs

Safe from mercury, but wait…. pausing at the trashcan, might be wise.  It’s true, LEDs do not contain mercury, but it is quite common for these bulbs to contain lead and arsenic.  Caution should be taken if one of these bulbs is broken for that reason.  But how you dispose of it is still up for discussion.  In most areas it is not required to recycle these bulbs, but considering the harmful toxins inside of them, we recommend that they are recycled.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

First, BE CAREFUL.  These are NOT your typical bulb.  Fluorescents (CFLs) contain harmful mercury.  This includes bulbs found in office buildings too.  Never try to take these bulbs apart.  Treat them like hazardous material…. they are – especially if they break (Click for more).  Exposure to mercury can cause developmental problems in unborn children. In adults, side effects of mercury exposure include muscle weakness, speech and vision impairment, lack of coordination – even death in some cases.

CFLs require special disposal…. in some states, it’s the law.  Please check with a member of our team as to proper disposal.  If you do not receive CWS as  your waste management company, not that there are retailers that will also accept these bulbs for recycling: Home Depot, Lowes, IKEA, etc. Make sure you call ahead to confirm.