Disposing of light bulbs has not been taken so seriously up until now, and wrong way of disposal can adversely affect our environment because of the mercury content in them. Disposal of light bulbs will depend upon their type.
How to dispose light bulbs
Old style light bulbs
- These are made up of different kind of a glass and metal, so they cannot be recycled.
- Better throw them in your bin safely and please don’t try to recycle them with your glass bottles.
- These are energy-efficient bulbs and save electricity but are not at all environment friendly.
- They contain around 4mg of mercury, which is a dangerous metal for human when inhaled or eaten or touched. It can even affect a newborn’s nervous and digestive systems.
- These bulbs should be recycled so that the mercury content can be recaptured and utilized again, without affecting the environment.
- Don’t just throw it in your domestic bin; it may break which leads to escape of mercury content.
- Put it in a polythene bag safely, and dispose it as you do with other hazardous waste.
- These are durable, non hazardous and environment friendly.
- They can be easily recycled without producing any harmful elements.
- These MR 16 bulbs save energy and are long lasting.
CFL light bulbs
MR 16 bulb
Instructions for how to dispose bulbs
Here are some instructions which may help you in disposing and recycling of your used bulbs.
- The local retailers or hardware stores accept fluorescent bulbs for recycling. You need to find out where this service is provided in your area.
- Before throwing or giving for recycling, carefully package the bulb to avoid any breakage.
- It’s better to replace new lamps packaging for the old one.
Advantages of Recycling
Light bulbs contain materials like glass, mercury and aluminum which are considered valuable for recycling, that’s why various stores are now giving replaceable offers. Each part of a bulb can be reused to make a new bulb or any other product.
Glass: It does not lose its quality and durability when recycled, and can be used for various things.
Mercury: Recycling allows recapturing of used mercury which prevent environmental hazards and reduced use of new mercury.
Aluminum: It is used to produce end caps for the bulb or various other aluminum products.
Throwing or disposing a bulb doesn’t sound a big deal, but hazardous content in few fluorescent bulbs called mercury can lead to brain and kidney damage, it can also badly affect a pregnant woman and her fetus, which can lead to nervous or digestive system issues in a newborn. So, it’s essential to take necessary precautions while disposing any bulb due to the risks of shattered glass or mercury release.
There are various environmental protection agencies, providing the service of handling, storage, transportation and disposal of bulbs. So, next time when you are disposing a bulb, think twice before you make any purchase. Buyers can also find some reviews about the product before making a purchase.