Light Bulb Recycling πŸ’‘: Light bulbs are one of the most important things invented by mankind to date. Gone are the days wherein we used oil-based lamps and candles to illuminate our nights once the sun had set. Not only are they more low maintenance than the latter two but also more efficient. Light bulbs live a longer life than those of lamps and candles. But what do you do with the old, discarded ones? Can you put them in the recycling bin? Or do you put them in the rubbish bin, instead? Read on to learn more.

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A bit about Waster

Before I discuss light bulb recycling, let me share with you more information about Waster.

We here at Waster provide you with innovative solutions for your and your business’s waste management and recycling needs. Furthermore, we provide flexible, 30-day contracts instead of the typical lock-in contracts, which proves to be better.

Click on the blue button to learn more.


READ: Shoe Recycling Australia πŸ‘Ÿ


Recycling possibility of the 4 different kinds of light bulb

You will want to learn two factors before trying to recycle or dispose of a light bulb, or light bulbs: its type and its amount. Generally, there are four different kinds of light bulbs known to us. They are the incandescent, compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), the high-intensity discharge lamp (HID), halogen, and light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs. In the following section, let me discuss with you its recyclability – or non-recyclability.


Old, incandescent bulbs

Old, incandescent light bulb recycling is not possible by throwing it in the recycle bin; instead, you should throw them in a rubbish bin to be disposed of in a landfill. But before you do so, wrap them in newspaper or packaging to ensure safety.

Though lately, according to ecocyle, there are now more offices, waste depots and facilities accepting incandescent light bulbs for recycling. Additionally, even IKEA can collect your old lightbulbs to be recycled. It is best to contact these options first before throwing your discarded light bulbs into the general waste bin.


Disposing of (and recycling) CFL light bulbs

People who prefer to live a “greener” lifestyle buy and use CFL light bulbs. Not only is it safer for the environment, but it also lasts long periods of time. If utilised properly, it has a 10,000-hour lifespan – or more than a year. Additionally, some reports also state that CFL light bulbs can last between 6-10 years.

With that being said, another thing you may know about CFLs is their recyclability. CFLs contain mercury, a toxic and hazardous material that should not be disposed of or recycled without care. As a result, you should not throw them away in your general waste bin; instead, you should contact your local council and ask where you can take your CLF light bulbs for recycling. It is encouraged to recycle compact fluorescent bulbs. Additionally, you can also bring them to IKEA for recycling like incandescent light bulbs.

What about broken CFLs?

But, what if you suddenly broke a CFL light bulb? What do you need to do to dispose of it? Here is what you should do:

  • First of all, you should clear out the place where the light bulb broke. Ensure all people, including pets, are out of the room. But rest assured, one CFL light bulb contains only a small amount of mercury; you may only be exposed to around 5 mg of it.
  • Wait for about 10 minutes by opening a window. Additionally, you can also fan it out to speed it up.
  • Clean up the glass fragments with either a wet paper towel or wipes. Put the fragments inside a glass jar or a plastic bag.
  • Dispose of everything you used to clean up the broken CFL. As for the broken CFL light bulb itself, contact your local council or any recycling facilities you know of and send it to them. As I have mentioned above, do not put them in your rubbish bin.

Also, you can watch this video for more information:

YouTube video


Halogen bulbs disposal

A halogen light bulb – or lamp – is an incandescent lamp that uses halogen gas to increase light intensity and lifespan.

They can be put in the general waste bin, provided you dispose of them the same way you dispose of old, incandescent light bulbs, by protecting it with newspaper or packaging materials.

But, you can also opt to recycle them. Yes, you can recycle halogen light bulbs. What you can do is contact your local council if they accept halogen light bulbs for recycling.


HID bulbs

High-intensity discharge light bulbs – or HID light bulbs, in short – are efficient lighting items typically used for street lighting and gyms. They are efficient and long-living. You can recycle them, same as the ones mentioned above. Do not throw them in your rubbish bin; they also contain mercury.

You can send them to FluoroCycle, managed by the government partnered with the industry that aims to recycle lighting materials that contain mercury – including HID lamps or light bulbs.

They are crushed and separated. They remove any mercury contained in it and reuse them to create dental amalgams. As for the aluminium, it is also separated and turned into metal ingots. And finally, the glass parts are also recycled and turned into glass wool. The non-recyclable parts are sent to a landfill.


LED bulbs

LED – or light-emitting diodes, in short – are environmentally friendly light bulbs. You can throw them in the rubbish bin, but ecocycle begs to differ. Like the other types of light bulb mentioned, the first thing you should do is contact your local council or a recycling facility within your area if they accept such lighting waste. You can also browse websites such as Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You for more information.


Light bulb recycling: conclusion


Remember: you should not put your lighting waste into your kerbside recyclables collection if you want them recycled. Instead, you should first contact your local council if there exist such programmes that collect your light bulb waste and recycle them.

Researching goes a long way; there are even free light bulb recycling programmes offered. You can recycle light bulbs in places like Sydney relatively easily.


Waster: things you need to know

If you’re looking for recycling bins, check ourΒ waste recycling shopΒ and find the best deals in terms of pricing and services.

Also, please callΒ 1300 WASTER (1300 927 837), or email us atΒ [email protected]Β if you have any further questions.


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