Don’t Light Up Your Environment with Old Light Bulbs

light bulbs in a rowFinally, the dishes are done, the kids are in the bed and your spouse is watching TV. You grab your latest book, tuck yourself into your favorite chair, turn on the light and POP! The light bulb blows out. Dang! Thank goodness your have a spare but what do you do with the old light bulb. You may want to think twice before lobbing it into the trash.

Different types of light bulbs require different kinds of disposal methods. Some light bulbs contain potentially hazardous materials. Read our light bulb list below to get savvy on how to dispose properly of your old bulbs.

Incandescent light bulbs contain non-toxic materials

They may not contain toxic substances but they are also not very energy efficient. Most people are replacing them with the newer, energy-efficient CFL’s and LED’s. And although incandescent bulbs do not contain toxic materials, most recycling centers will not accept them. Here’s a tip – hang onto the box the bulbs came in and when a bulb burns out, mark the bulb and put it back in the box. When the box is filled with old bulbs put them in the kitchen trash. The box will help keep the bulbs from breaking.

Halogen light bulbs contain halogen gas.

Halogen lights make great flood lights. You will find these outside of garages, carports, front doors and commercial buildings. Since they do contain halogen gas, most recycling companies will not take them. So, just like the incandescent bulbs, you can put them in the trash in a box or double bag them to prevent broken glass from injuring someone.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury.

These are those spiral bulbs you’ve been purchasing to make you feel more energy efficient. If they stay intact, the CFL’s are safe. It’s when they get tossed into the trash and break that they release harmful mercury into our environment. Mercury in the environment means big problems. Places such as Ikea and Home Depot will take old CFL bulbs back if purchased from their store. If that is not an option, go to to find the closest CFL recycling center in your area.

If a bulb does get broken in your home( I had two boys so I know about breakage) follow these safety steps:

• Don protective gloves, a face mask, and clothing to guard yourself against the mercury.
• Make sure you get all the broken pieces and place them in a sealed container.
• Take the broken light bulb to your closest recycling site/ home improvement store.

Fluorescent bulbs (those long tubes that light your kitchen, basement, garage and closets) also contain mercury.

LED Lights contain nickel, lead and some arsenic.

Scary right? Not really, as long as these bulbs are disposed of properly they are safe and the good news, 95% recyclable. So, don’t toss them into the trash. Use the above website or google the closest recycling center in your area.

R & R Container Service probably can’t help you with your light bulb disposal but they can take care of your big hauling jobs. Visit their website to check out the professional and friendly services of the brightest roll-off container company in Acworth, GA.