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Recycling can be tricky

Oct 15, 2015

Recycling can be tricky—especially light bulbs. With so many different types of bulbs and lighting options out there, it can be difficult to know how to best recycle each one. To help you out, LightingtheQCA.com has put together a list of a few common household bulbs with instructions on how to best recycle them.

Incandescent and halogen bulbs: Due to the rise in popularity of energy-efficient bulbs, incandescent and halogen bulbs have become less common in today’s homes—and for good reason. Incandescent and halogen bulbs are non-recyclable and are not accepted at most recycling centers. To properly dispose of an incandescent or halogen bulb, you should wrap the bulb in bubble wrap or cardboard and throw it away in your waste bin. These bulbs contain no harmful chemicals and are safe to throw away at home.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs): Due to their energy efficiency and affordability, CFLs have become the most popular bulb of choice in today’s homes. Unfortunately, CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, which means special precautions must be taken when recycling these bulbs. “CFLs should never be recycled at home and should always be disposed of at a local recycling center,” explains Tony Behrends from Republic Company. “Because gases in light bulbs have changed over time, it is important to properly dispose of all light bulbs to avoid harm to yourself and the environment.”

Aside from recycling centers, CFLs can also be dropped off for recycling at most light bulb retail stores. Use this recycling center locator to help you find a recycling center or store near you.

Florescent: Tubular fluorescent lighting is most commonly used for overhead lighting in offices. Because fluorescent bulbs also contain small traces of mercury, they should be disposed of in the same manner as CFLs. When transporting these bulbs to your local recycling center, wrap each tubular light individually in bubble wrap to keep bulbs from breaking. 

Remember, if you’re unsure of how to recycle a particular bulb in your home, call one of the many certified contractors and electricians on LightingtheQCA.com for help! 

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