How to Dispose Fluorescent Light

Did you know that fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury? This harmful chemical can leak into the environment if not disposed of properly. Luckily, there are several ways to eliminate fluorescent light bulbs without harming the planet. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to dispose fluorescent light. We’ll also provide tips for choosing the right bulb for your needs. Read on to learn more.

Summary: If you’re tired of fluorescent light ruining your sleep, there are a few ways to dispose of it. You can either turn off the light or cover it with a cloth so that it’s not shining in your eyes.

How to Dispose Fluorescent Light

What Causes Fluorescent Lights to Stop Working?

There are a few reasons why fluorescent lights may stop working. The most common reason is that the bulb has reached the end of its lifespan. Fluorescent bulbs typically last around 10,000 hours. This is much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, which only last for about 1,000 hours. However, even though fluorescent bulbs have a longer lifespan, they can still burn out.

Another reason why fluorescent lights may stop working is that the ballast has gone bad. The ballast is the part of the light that regulates the current. If the ballast goes bad, it can cause the light to flicker or go out entirely. Additionally, CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) may stop working if they’re frequently turned on and off. This is because they take a few minutes to warm up and reach full brightness.

If they’re turned off before they reach full brightness, this can shorten their lifespan. The other main reason why fluorescent lights stop working is because they’ve been damaged. If a bulb is dropped or broken, it must be replaced. Lastly, if a light is frequently left on, it must be replaced more often.

Why Is It Important to Dispose of Fluorescent Lights Properly?

Fluorescent lights contain mercury, which is a harmful chemical. If these bulbs are not disposed of properly, the mercury can leak into the environment. This can contaminate soil and water, and it can also be harmful to wildlife. Additionally, mercury is a neurotoxin, which means it can be harmful to humans. Another reason why it’s important to dispose of fluorescent lights properly is that they’re made of glass.

If these bulbs are not disposed of properly, they can break and cause injuries. Finally, if fluorescent lights are not disposed of properly, they can end up in landfills. There, they’ll take up space, and they won’t decompose.

Fluorescent Lights Contain Mercury

10 Ways How to Dispose Fluorescent Light

1. Take Them to a Recycling Center.

The first step in disposing of fluorescent light bulbs is to find a recycling center that accepts them. Once you’ve located a center, take your bulbs there and properly dispose of them. Recycling centers will ensure that the bulbs are properly disposed of and that the mercury doesn’t leak into the environment. They may also offer discounts on new bulbs.

2. Bring Them to a Hazardous Waste Facility.

If you can’t find a recycling center that accepts fluorescent light bulbs, you can take them to a hazardous waste facility. These facilities are equipped to dispose of these bulbs properly. To find a facility near you, visit the Earth 911 website and search for “hazardous waste” in your area. Some states have specific regulations regarding the disposal of these bulbs, so be sure to check with your local government before bringing them to a facility. If you live in California, you can find a list of certified facilities here.

3. Donate Them to a Local School or Library.

Many schools and libraries use fluorescent light bulbs, so they may be willing to take them off your hands. This is a good option if you can’t find a recycling center that accepts them. School and library staff will know how to dispose of them properly. If you’re not sure which school or library to contact, call your local waste management department for more information.

4. Bring Them to a Local Dump.

If you can’t find a recycling center or hazardous waste facility that accepts fluorescent light bulbs, you can bring them to your local dump. However, you’ll need to check with your local dump’s policies and regulations first. Some dumps may not accept fluorescent light bulbs because they contain mercury. If your local dump does accept them, they will likely charge a small fee for disposing of them. If you have many fluorescent light bulbs to dispose of, this may not be the most cost-effective option.

Bring Them to Your Local Dump

5. Incinerate Them.

Incinerating fluorescent light bulbs is one way to dispose of them. However, this method should only be used as a last resort. This is because the process of incineration can release harmful chemicals into the air. If you must incinerate your fluorescent light bulbs, be sure to do so in a properly ventilated area. First, remove the bulb from its fixture. Next, place the bulb in a metal container. Finally, incinerate the bulb in a controlled environment.

6. Break Them Into Pieces.

Breaking fluorescent light bulbs into pieces is another way to dispose of them. However, it would help if you were careful when breaking the bulb, as the glass can be sharp. To do this, place the bulb on a hard surface and use a hammer to break it into smaller pieces. Once the bulb is broken into pieces, you can place them in a bag and dispose of them in the trash.

7. Wrap Them in Newspaper.

If you’re worried about breaking the bulb, you can wrap it in newspaper before disposing of it. To do this, place the bulb on a flat surface and cover it with a layer or two of paper. Then, secure the paper in place with tape. Once the bulb is wrapped, it can be placed in the trash. If you’re recycling the bulb, be sure to remove the paper first.

8. Put Them in a Sealed Bag.

Putting fluorescent light bulbs in a sealed bag is another way to dispose of them. This will help to contain the glass and any mercury that may be present. You can then take the sealed bag to a local recycling center that accepts these types of bulbs. Sealed bags can also be placed in your regular trash bin, but check with your local waste management regulations first.

Check With Your Local Waste Management Regulations

9. Use a Bulb Crusher.

If you have a large number of fluorescent light bulbs to dispose of, you may want to consider using a bulb crusher. Bulb crushers are very efficient at crushing fluorescent light bulbs and can crush multiple bulbs at once. The crushed bulbs are then stored in a drum or container until they are ready to be recycled. Bulb crushers can save a lot of time and money over traditional methods of disposing of fluorescent light bulbs. To use a bulb crusher, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

10. Use a Fluorescent Light Bulb Recycling Kit.

Fluorescent light bulb recycling kits are available for purchase online. These kits usually include a box and shipping label. To use one of these kits, first, find a big box to fit all of the bulbs you need to recycle. Next, place the bulbs in the box and close it up. Then, attach the shipping label to the box and send it off.

Tips and Warnings on How to Dispose Fluorescent Light


  1. When recycling fluorescent light bulbs, remove the paper or plastic first.
  2. Be careful when breaking the bulb, as the glass can be sharp.
  3. Put the broken bulb pieces in a bag before disposing of them.
  4. If you’re incinerating the bulb, be sure to do so in a well-ventilated area.


  1. Do not dispose of fluorescent light bulbs in the regular trash.
  2. Check with your local dump or recycling center before disposing of fluorescent light bulbs.
  3. Do not incinerate fluorescent light bulbs unless it is necessary.
  4. Be careful when handling fluorescent light bulbs, as they may contain mercury.
  5. Do not dispose of fluorescent light bulbs in the same container as regular trash.
Be Careful When Handling Fluorescent Light

What is the White Powder in Fluorescent Lights?

The white powder in fluorescent lights is called phosphor. Phosphor is a substance that emits light when it is exposed to ultraviolet light. Fluorescent lights contain a small amount of mercury, emitting ultraviolet light when excited by an electric current. The phosphor coating on the inside of the tube absorbs the ultraviolet light and re-emits it as visible light. This is what gives fluorescent lights their characteristic glow.

The white powder in fluorescent lights is safe to touch and is not harmful to your health. However, you should avoid inhaling the powder, as it can irritate your lungs. If you do get the powder on your skin, be sure to wash it off with soap and water. In addition, the powder can be released into the air if a fluorescent light bulb breaks. This is why it is important to follow the proper procedures for disposing of broken fluorescent light bulbs.

White Powder in Fluorescent Lights is Safe

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Lowes or Home Depot Recycle Fluorescent Tubes?

Unfortunately, most home improvement stores do not currently recycle fluorescent tubes. This is because these products are made of hazardous waste and therefore require special handling that is not typically available at home improvement stores.

Does Lowes Still Recycle Light Bulbs?

Yes, Lowes still recycles light bulbs. In fact, the company has a program called Light Up America that helps to collect and recycle old light bulbs. The program runs through December 2020 and offers discounts on new LED lights when you bring in your old ones. You can also drop them off at any store location or website partner of Lowes.

Can Light Bulbs Be Recycled?

Yes, light bulbs can definitely be recycled. The most common type of light bulb used in residential and commercial settings is the incandescent light bulb. These bulbs are made of a plastic material that can be recycled using a process called flaring. Flaring involves heating the plastic to a high temperature and then vented, causing it to break down into smaller pieces that can be easily collected and recycled.

Other types of light bulbs that can be recycled include the compact fluorescent bulb, the LED light bulb, and the halogen light bulb. All of these bulbs use different types of plastic that can be recycled using different methods.

Depending on the type of light bulb and the method used to recycle it, recycling may result in a higher or lower quality product. For example, flaring can result in a product that is less sturdy than a product made from a standard incandescent bulb. However, recycling LEDs can result in products that are brighter and last longer than products made from standard LEDs.

So, in short – yes, light bulbs can definitely be recycled. And the more you know about how to recycle them, the better off you’ll be!

Are Fluorescent Tubes Hazardous Waste?

According to the EPA, fluorescent tubes should not be classified as hazardous waste. However, if they break or leak and are contaminate with heavy metals like lead or mercury, then they may need to be treated as hazardous waste. If you have any questions about how your fluorescent tubes should be handled, please contact your local municipality’s solid Waste department.


So there you have it! Now you know how to dispose fluorescent light. Follow the tips and warnings listed above to keep yourself safe. We hope this article has been helpful. Thank you for reading!

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Jennifer Branett

I'm Jennifer, and I love everything about lighting. I have spent the last two years learning all I can about how lighting affects your home, and now I'm an LED light enthusiast. My passion is helping people see just how beneficial proper lighting can be for their lives. When you're working with me, you're getting someone who truly cares about making your home look and feel its best.