Ditching old CFLs? Don't trash them, recycle them.
While compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) are an energy-efficient lighting choice, they do contain a small amount of mercury, meaning they should be handled with care and disposed of properly. The EPA recommends that you bring old CFLs to qualified recyclers, rather than disposing of them in trash cans or curbside recycling bins.
Find Recycling Centers Near You
- Earth 911 provides an online search tool to help you find a local recycling facility.
- Select Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardware and Batteries Plus Bulbs stores offer free recycling of compact fluorescent light bulbs. Please check with your local store on program specifics.
- Some counties and municipalities in Colorado conduct annual collections of household hazardous wastes, while others have permanent collection facilities or sponsor curbside pickup programs. Find more information about recycling options in your area from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
- Open a window and leave the room (restrict access) for at least 15 minutes.
- Remove all materials you can without using a vacuum cleaner.
- Wear disposable rubber gloves, if available (do not use your bare hands).
- Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard.
- Wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel or disposable wet wipe.
- Sticky tape (such as duct tape) can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.
- Place all clean up materials in a plastic bag and seal it. It is recommended that you place these materials in two plastic bags before disposal. Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.
- The first time you vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag once done cleaning the area (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag and/or vacuum debris, as well as the cleaning materials, in two sealed plastic bags in the outdoor trash or protected outdoor location for normal disposal.