How to Dispose of Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Energy saving lights bulbs are also sometimes known as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). These light bulbs and other fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, so it is a good idea to properly dispose of them. Otherwise, energy saving light bulbs can leak mercury into the soil and water supply. Your state may have recycling facilities that receive burned out energy saving light bulbs.

Energy Savings Light Bulb Disposal

  1. Use the Internet to check your state's recycling policy (see Resources). Type in your state's name and the words environmental regulatory agency into a search engine. Your local town or city hall also has information about nearby recycling facilities.

  2. Remove burned out bulbs from the socket carefully. If your town or city has a receiving center or recycling facility for fluorescent light bulbs, collect and drop off your burned out bulbs. Otherwise, go on to step 3.

  3. Place the energy savings light bulb inside a plastic bag and tie it firmly shut. Dispose of your burned out energy saving light bulbs with your regular trash.

Disposing of Broken Energy Saving Light Bulbs

  1. Sweep up all the shards of a broken bulb together and place them in a tightly closed plastic bag. Double bag the broken pieces by tying another plastic bag around the first.

  2. Launder your clothing if glass shards touch your clothing or other fabrics. Use a damp paper towel to wipe your shoes down and pick up any fragments that might be left behind.

  3. Air out the room for at least fifteen minutes and don't allow children or pets to come in.

  4. Dispose of the broken energy saving light bulb at a recycling facility or in your trash.


  • Energy savings lights bulbs should never be disposed of in an incinerator or home garbage compactor.
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