Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and other energy-efficient lighting such as linear fluorescent tube lamps and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps contain a very small amount of mercury. All fluorescent bulbs should be recycled properly to protect public health and the environment.
Compact fluorescent bulbs (the small, squiggly CFLs) can be recycled for free at Home Depot and Lowe's retail locations. Look for a drop box near the main entrance or customer service desk.
Fluorescent tube bulbs from a home can be recycled through the District's Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.
Businesses must contract with a licensed environmental services company for proper disposal or recycling of fluorescent bulbs. See our Business Recycling Directory.
How do I clean-up a broken fluorescent bulb?
In 2010, the U.S. EPA released new guidelines on how to deal with mercury-containing compact fluorescent light bulbs that break in the home. Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury sealed in the glass tubing. When broken, some of the mercury is released as mercury vapor. The EPA states the bulb will continue to leak mercury vapor until it is cleaned up and removed from the home.
What about LED or halogen bulbs?
Similar to incandescent lights, LED and halogen bulbs don't contain any dangerous chemicals, so they can be disposed of in the same way as incandescent bulbs. Dispose of in the regular trash.