Fluorescent Bulbs

Fluorescent Bulbs

Do not place bulbs, including fluorescent, incandescent, LED or HID, in your curbside recycling.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and other energy-efficient lighting such as fluorescent tube lamps and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps contain a very small amount of mercury. All fluorescent bulbs and ballasts should be recycled properly to protect public health and the environment.

Compact fluorescent bulbs (the small, twisty CFLs) can be recycled for free at most Lowe's and Home Depot retail locations. Call your local store first to make sure they are participating. Look for a drop box near the main entrance or customer service desk.

Some local Batteries+Bulbs retail stores will accept and recycle all types of bulbs and ballasts, including fluorescent tubes. Stores are located in Akron, Macedonia, Mayfield Heights, and Parma. A small disposal fee will apply. See details.

Check with your city service department to learn if a collection program exists in your community for tube bulbs. Your community may accept and properly dispose of tube bulbs using taxpayer dollars or charge you a small recycling fee.

Residents with fluorescent bulbs can also contact the Solid Waste District for alternate disposal options. Matt Walters can be reached at (216) 698-7595 or by email.

Businesses must contract with a licensed environmental services company for proper disposal or recycling of fluorescent bulbs and ballasts. 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 manage 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 incandescent, LED or halogen bulbs?
Incandescent lights, LED and halogen bulbs do not contain any dangerous chemicals. When the bulb is burned out, dispose in the regular trash.