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How To Safely Dispose of Old Light Bulbs

broken light bulbThat light bulb in the kitchen blew out, so throw it in the trash right? Not so fast. It all depends on what kind of light bulb it is – some can be thrown away without worry while others have the potential to wreak havoc on our environment and even our planet.


Before LED technology became the norm, incandescents were the most commonly used bulbs in the home. You may still have some of these in fixtures throughout the house and when they finally blow out, it’s okay to toss them in the trash. Most cities don’t accept these bulbs at recycling centers and as a result, we like to reuse them for DIY crafts instead of throwing them out.


Similar to incandescents, halogens won’t do much harm if they are throw in the trash – that is, unless the glass breaks.

Compact Fluorescents:

Here’s where you need to be careful. CFLs contain small amounts of mercury, a toxic chemical, which must be disposed of properly. In some areas, it’s illegal to throw this type of bulb in the trash so consult with your local recycling center for more information on how to safely get rid of them.

Proper disposal of light bulbs is often overlooked and let’s face it, it’s much easier to just throw them in the garbage can, right? However, doing so can be a decision you’ll regret in the near future. We highly suggest taking the time to find out the best way to get rid of your bulbs.

For more information about light bulbs, contact the expert electricians at Lon Lockwood Electric. We’ve been meeting the electrical needs of the entire Rochester area for years and would be more than happy to help with your next project.