How To Dispose Of Fluorescent Light Tubes and Bulbs? [Recyling Included as Bonus in 2023]

CFL lights are altogether different from the traditional incandescent bulbs since they do not utilize filament to produce light. Instead, they produce light with the assistance of the combination of three phosphors.

At the point when this combination is presented to ultraviolet light from mercury atoms, they produce light. The light produced from the CFL bulbs is more diffuse than incandescent bulbs and henceforth, utilized for area lighting purposes. 

There are several advantages of utilizing CFL lighting systems and therefore they are getting popular. They are energy proficient as well as produce less heat, are climate agreeable. Frankly speaking, CFL bulbs use about 1/fourth of the energy utilized by an incandescent bulb that produces the same amount of light.

In fact, you can replace a 60-watt incandescent bulb with a 15-watt CFL bulb. In addition, lower wattage means low usage of energy and lesser heat generated. 

However, there are challenges that you can face which will help you to get the CFL bulb properly disposed of. If you are facing this problem, here is a guide on how to dispose of fluorescent light tubes for you.

Disposing Of Fluorescent Tubes and Lamps

  1. Just do not break out your lamps and tubes straightaway. Before doing this, you must first pack it back to the original box and packaging system.
  2. To keep it safe, you must place it in a dry place. Avoid any type of rain contact or thunderstorms.
  3. To dispose of it properly, the first thing that you need to do is to bring it to a waste collection place. Here, you can undergo the procedure of proper fluorescent tubes disposal.

Where To Recycle Fluorescent Tubes?

Since 2005 companies, organizations, co-operatives, and organizations in England and Wales should accurately discard all fluorescent lighting types. This is because this lighting has mercury inside, which is hazardous to human health.

All such lighting should be taken away for disposal or reusing by an authorized hazardous waste carrier. You can discover a rundown of these carriers on the Environment Agency site.

How To Dispose Of Fluorescent Light Tubes and Bulbs

Mercury can be hazardous to human health in any state – be it powder, fluid, or gas, and in inconceivably small amounts.

One-millionth of a gram of mercury is sufficient to have a temporary negative impact on the human body with delayed openness. At a slightly higher dose, impacts can be felt after only a couple of hours.

How To Dispose Of Fluorescent Bulbs? [Easiest Way]

Here is the process of fluorescent bulb disposal. Let’s start with it.

  • Switch off your CFL bulb. This will allow your bulb to cool, and it will also keep electric stuns from happening when you take out the bulb from its attachment.
  • Eliminate the light bulb to its attachment by tenderly rotating the bulb counterclockwise until it releases up. You may require a ladder or a strong stool to have the option to reach and eliminate the bulb safely.
  • Wrap the light bulb with an old newspaper and put it in a crate to reuse focus. You have to be careful not to break the bulb’s glass part as this contains a hazardous chemical.
  • Place the bulb in its appropriate container, or even better, offer it to the person in charge of the reusing facility. When it’s in its right place, your utilized CFL bulb will be reused safely.
  • You can also go through elastic gloves to pick the glass shards safely. It is vital to utilize a pair of gloves when handling the fragments because direct contact with mercury could cause you some genuine difficulty.
  • A damp towel can also be utilized to gather the smaller fragments of the glass. You have to make sure that you safely arrange the towel and the messed-up shards of glass whenever you’re done.

Where To Recycle Fluorescent Bulbs?

To start with, CFL bulbs have mercury in them. They regularly break when discarded, and we do not want mercury in our current circumstances. 

This will hold the mercury back from entering the landfill.) Next, the other materials in the bulbs can be reused. The glass, the metals, and virtually all the other things can be reused or reused.

Lastly, your area may expect you to reuse them. Some many states and locales have stricter regulations than the EPA.

Another great way to reuse your CFLs is to visit your local retailers. In any case, check with your local store before you go.

Not all of the stores in the regional or nationwide chains may be equipped to reuse or have the option to accept certain things.

This means you can purchase pre-labeled reusing packs that allow you to mail in your pre-owned bulbs to reusing focuses. This is how fluorescent bulb recycling is done.

What If A CFL Bulb Breaks?

The utilization of Mercury is critical for the operation of this generation of CFLs, and a suitable, less harmful replacement has yet to be found.

The amount of Mercury in each bulb is small, tipping the scales at around 5 milligrams, and your homes’ thermostat probably contains many occasions more Mercury than a CFL. Indeed, even so, this presents two focuses that we must think about.

The first is that, as referenced previously, Mercury is poisonous to humans. The old, small kids and ladies that are pregnant are generally touchy to Mercury harming. Apparently, everybody agrees that CFLs do not produce, leak, or transmit Mercury during normal operations.

What If I Have Fluorescent Tube Bulbs?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) can last multiple times longer, utilize 75% less electricity and produce 90% less heat than the standard light bulbs (known as incandescent lamps).

In this way, in general, utilizing CFLs will diminish the amount of waste in our landfills and decrease the amount of energy we need to produce, assisting with Global Warming.

Regulations Involved In Disposing off Fluorescent Light Tubes

This is why regulations were gotten to stop the fluorescent light disposal to landfills, which was the typical course before 2005. The ultimate aim (apart from having no waste at all unloaded, obviously) is for zero hazardous waste to be shipped off landfill.

You can learn more about this subject’s legal and practical aspects by reading The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005.

Companies who gather this sort of lighting will furnish you with suitable containers to fill as you need. It would help if you guaranteed that these are kept dry and lights are taken out from their packaging and not damaged.

When full, they will gather them for disposal and give you a hazardous waste transfer note, which guarantees you conform to the above regulations. You must ask for this document to show you are acting legally.

Mercury And Toxicity

Many places on the planet produce little energy from coal terminated power plants, California. In the USA, coal plants are now mandated to decrease their mercury outflows by somewhere in the range of 70% and 90%. 

  • CFL’s are conveyed here on ships utilizing dugout oil, the most noticeably awful mercury producer of the fuel oils.
  • There are, as of now, not very many reusing programs in place or planned to handle the quantity of CFLs proposed.


There is no doubt that we have to change our energy utilization habits to benefit all drastically but is this the ideal way to go?

The dramatically lower energy use and the long life span of the bulbs sound great. My anxiety is we will push one more issue onto people in the future with landfills brimming with these harmful bulbs.

With that we would like to wrap this article how to dispose of fluorescent light tubes. You can let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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