Don’t Throw Your Florescent Bulbs Away – What to Do Instead

Energy efficient florescent bulbs can be great for reducing your electricity bill, but what about when they are burnt out and no longer in use? Should you simply throw them out with the rubbish?

Your florescent bulbs actually contain trace amounts of mercury, so you should not throw them away. They need to be recycled properly so that they will not damage the environment. They might not seem like they would have a big impact on the environment, but the mercury from only one florescent tube could be enough to pollute nearly 30,000 litres of water in the UK to a point beyond the safe drinking level. They have now been designated as Hazardous Waste in England and Wales and must be recycled in a specific way.


There are many companies who specialise in the safe removal of hazardous materials such as florescent lighting. You can search online for a service which is in your area and contact them to discuss your unique requirements.

To remove a florescent bulb safely, you should twist the plastic base rather than the tube itself, or you might cause the glass tubing in the bulb to overheat. Never grab the bulb by the glass but always handle it from the base in order to gentle remove it in a safe manner.

When you are preparing your florescent light bulbs to be recycled, you should place them in a container which will prevent them from breaking. This might be placing them in their original packaging that they were purchased in, or in the box from their replacement bulb. You can also find special containers which are designed for recycling these types of light bulbs, which might even be supplied by the florescent light bulb recyclers.

Be very careful not to break the florescent bulbs, as this can release the mercury and be very dangerous to you. Some of the time, recyclers will not accept the bulbs with they arrive already broken.

Make sure that the containers are properly packed, padded and sealed and label them clearly as florescent light bulbs for recycling. Make sure that they are kept in a safe place away from damp, heat or open flame while you wait for them to be picked up by the recycler. If you are driving the bulbs to a recycling facility, make sure that they are secured and will not break during transit.

By recycling your florescent bulbs properly you are keeping your community safe by ensuring that their toxic mercury does not pollute the local water supply.

Did you know that you should not throw away florescent bulbs with your rubbish? To dispose of them properly, call the experts at

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