How to Dispose of Light Bulbs: LED light, Halogens, and Fluorescent Tubes

Best Ways to Eliminate Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Indeed, incandescent types do not contain dangerous chemicals. So, they can be thrown off into regular trash, unlike CFL. Nonetheless, one needs to be careful, just like when throwing away any other glass objects because of glass shards. 

The following tips will be helpful: 

Be Ready to Walk Away from Home

Go as far as a loke before throwing them away. It might be stressful, but the sacrifice will be worth it.

Use Packaging Materials

It will also be helpful to wrap the bulb in plastic or other packaging materials before putting it in a trash can. This approach is particularly important if the fluorescent has broken. It is a preventive measure that will ensure that broken edges will not cut through the garbage bag and create a mess. Besides, it is necessary to avoid injuries from the hauler. 


An individual may recycle light bulbs. Nonetheless, upcycling the incandescent types is also another great option in 2020. This choice is worthwhile, especially when they are intact and have a creative streak. 

A simple internet search will help a great deal in finding various ways these items can become useful again. 

How to Dispose of Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)

Compact Fluorescent Lights

These types of lamps are popular because they use much less energy in comparison with older styled ones. Note that the reason this type of bulb is energy-efficient is that it contains mercury. 

Unlike incandescent options, CFLs contain up to four milligrams of the substance. Meanwhile, this substance is a toxic metal. So, it is crucial to be more careful when disposing of CFLs because they can be dangerous. The following tips will be beneficial:

1. Don’t Use Conventional Garbage

Indeed, four milligrams seems negligible. However, if it enters the water in landfills, it can be poisonous and have hazardous effects on the environment. Therefore, it will not be wise to throw this type of bulb away in regular garbage. Mercury can sink deep into landfill groundwater and find its way into the drinking supply. 

2. Contact Local Waste Collection Agency

Children or pests might come to touch this substance if the bulb is not disposed of appropriately. In case the lamp is broken, it is crucial to search and check the instructions on the US EPA website for the best method in 2020. 

The broken pieces should be wrapped properly. Meet the collection agency services for more details on how to dispose of light bulbs. Failure to follow the right step has grave consequences that must not be neglected.

3. Recycle 

It is easy to find information regarding how to recycle light bulbs in the modern world. Hazardous metals and other components of a CFL can be recycled. As long as they are processed correctly, there is no cause for alarm. 


How to Dispose of LED light bulbs

LED Light Bulbs

Many people prefer LEDs because they are more energy-efficient than incandescent options. Indeed, they do not contain mercury. However, they are made up of other hazardous substances such as arsenic and lead. So, there is a need to be careful regarding how to dispose of LED bulbs. The tips below will help in this regard in 2020:

1. Don’t Employ Regular Garbage

Throwing out burnt out lamps in the trash can be dangerous. The toxic substances can end up in the water stream. So, walking as far as a loke should not be considered as a sacrifice too much to offer for safety.

2. Contact Local Center Concerned with Recycling Light Bulbs

Find out if the community center accepts LEDs as part of its special collection operations for recycling light bulbs.

Tips for Effective Disposal of Halogen


Halogens are not easy to recycle because they contain hydrogen gas. Nonetheless, they can still be disposed of in the appropriate quarters. 

Disposing of them involves the following steps:

  • Speak to the recycling services center about a special collection policy for halogens.
  • In case the center does not have such provisions, consider throwing them in the trash.

Info block:

  • Put the halogen back into its container or wrapper. In the absence of that, wrap it with packaging material to prevent it from shattering. 
  • Keep them out of the land hill to avoid contaminating the environment or drink supply. 

How to Eliminate Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent tubes also conserve energy because they contain mercury. So, they are dangerous when disposed of carelessly. 

The following tips are effective in this regard:

  • Search and find a recycling center because fluorescent tubes are universally considered hazardous.
  • Recycling centers will process them through a special routine to avoid contaminating the environment.

Disposing of fluorescent tubes in a conventional waste bin or garbage will not only hurt the environment. It will also put sanitation workers at risk. 

Exciting Ways of Repurposing Old Bulbs

Repurposing Old Bulbs

Almost every household in the modern world uses lamps. Unfortunately, they don’t last forever. The good news is that they can still serve beneficial purposes when they burn out. How?

1. Mini Garden

Fill it with soil and plant some tiny crops inside. 

2. Money Gift

A person who has a bulb does not need to get stressed over searching for gift ideas. Putting money inside a bulb is an exciting and creative way of enjoying wordplay. A tag saying the cash is an investment into a bright future can be attached to make it fun.

3. Hanging Vase

Lamps can appear as pleasant tiny vases when they are filled with water while placing a plant inside. 

4. Air Plant Bulb

By placing an air plant inside, the bulb can be dangled with a string or fishing line. 

Be Conversant with Local Regulations and Recycling Options

Recycling Options

There are many creative ways broken lamps and bulbs can still be useful again, as mentioned earlier. Nonetheless, some people might not be interested in making beauty out of the ruins. For such individuals, they need to find out about the laws and options available. Leverage the tips below to take advantage of such opportunities:

Find Local Municipalities

Contacting local municipalities has many benefits that should not be neglected. They should have pages regarding how bulbs can be recycled in that area. 

Contact Local Recycling Centers

In most cases, the pages contain beneficial information regarding recycling centers and drop-off points. Individuals can leverage the information to affect their plans to throw off broken bulbs. 

Ask Questions

Asking questions from remote sources can enable a person to have access to information on specific ways to throw away or pack bulbs. Rules vary from state to state. Therefore, the best bet is to contact those in charge to find out about rules for disposing of any bulb type. 

Benefits of Recycling All the Bulbs

Benefits of Recycling

The disposing of bulbs is good. However, it often hurts the environment and has health hazards. So, the best option is to recycle them. The benefits include:

Prevention of the Release of Toxic Substances into the Environment

As mentioned earlier, lead and arsenic are poisonous. So, recycling bulbs and lamps help to avoid releasing them into the environment.

Reuse of Materials

Materials such as glass and metals can be put to good use again through recycling.

Avoidance of Sanction

Choosing to recycle helps to avoid government sanctions, especially in areas where some items are prohibited for disposal. So, by finding out about rules and regulations regarding recycling and disposal, an individual can afford to fall afoul of the law of that state or community. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can You Recycle Light Bulbs?

    Old-style options can be thrown into regular garbage. Nonetheless, it is crucial to wrap them in a newspaper or other packaging materials before putting them in a waste bin. Recycling them will get easier as science continues to advance. Some sites also offer directory service to find where to recycle light bulbs.

  • Can I Recycle Light Bulbs at Home Depots?

    Home Depots are viable recycling centers for lights, especially CFLs. Batteries and other electronics can also be recycled in the places. Unlike incandescent and halogen bulbs, fluorescent tubes are not safe for trash. Home depots are ideal for them to repurpose them.

  • Can You Throw Away Tube Lights?

    Thanks to Lowe’s, there is no need for that. However, every type is not suitable. Only CFLs are ideal for this purpose. Lowe’s will not accept halogen, incandescent, fluorescent tubes, and high-intensity discharge lights.

  • What Are the Dangers of Disposing Light Bulbs?

    Four-foot fluorescent can be disposed of in most states as universal wastes. In the US, seven states, including California and Maine, treat them as hazardous waste. Therefore, they need to be recycled due to their mercury content.
    Best Buy does not recycle, regardless of the type. Therefore, whoever needs to do so should find the nearest Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Disposing of Bulbs With Ease

When one does not know what to do with burned out or broken lamps, it can be frustrating. From this post, there are three things that can be done about such items. The first is to throw them in a regular waste bin.
Other options include repurposing them in creative ways or recycling them. They can be recycled at waste collection centers. Lowe’s and Home Depots are also fantastic options. Drop comments below to contribute or critique the post.