Sunday, October 03, 2010

Where to recycle dead CFL bulbs?

Where shouldn’t you dispose of your old and dead CFL bulbs? Your trash-can. CFL bulbs contain mercury and should never been thrown into your trash. CFLs are extremely energy efficient and hence good for the environment (by requiring less coal to be burned, which means less green house gases and all the other pollutants like sulphur and mercury). But it means that you need to be responsible in where you dispose of your CFL bulbs.


Two easy locations that I found:

Your neighborhood Lowes and Home Depot, both offer free recycling of dead CFL bulbs.

Lowes press-release: “Lowe’s Launches Recycling Centers in U.S. Stores

Home Depot press-release: “Home Depot launces CFL recycling program

 Lowes CFL recycling center Home Depot CFL Recycling Center


Parag said...

Many hardware stores and local disposal sites accept CFLs for recycling, and some companies now sell pre-paid shipping boxes addressed to recycling plants. Unfortunately, not everyone has easy access to these options, so about three out of four CFLs end up in landfills, where the mercury gets leached into the soil and groundwater.
Recycling CFLs

Brad Buscher said...

Like all mercury-containing fluorescent lights, CFLs should be properly stored, transported and recycled to prevent these fragile bulbs from breaking and emitting hazardous mercury vapor. As this post states, they cannot be thrown away in the trash, but should be taken to a recycling center or disposed of by using a proven recycling box. As CFLs and fluorescent bulbs are steadily replacing incandescents, it is important for consumers to understand the importance of properly recycling them. A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota tested the effectiveness of various packages in containing mercury vapor emitted from broken fluorescent lamps. The study found that many packages do not sufficiently contain mercury vapor, such as single-layer cardboard boxes (representing the original manufacturer’s box or container) as well as single layer boxes with a sealed plastic bag. Just one configuration—consisting of a zip-closure plastic-foil laminate bag layered between two cardboard boxes—minimized exposure levels below acceptable occupational limits, as defined by state and federal regulations and guidelines. Find out more about this proven packaging method at