How to Dispose of Energy Saving Light Bulbs

People who are concerned about keeping their home energy costs down usually know that they need to purchase energy efficient light bulbs to replace traditional bulbs throughout the home. The one thing that holds a lot of people back from doing this is that they’ve heard rumors that these cost-saving bulbs can be tough to dispose of when you don’t need them anymore. That doesn’t have to be the case.

Consider LED Bulbs

One smart way to go is to choose LED light bulbs. These light bulbs contain no toxic elements and can be disposed of in your normal trash. They are the most energy-efficient light bulbs on the market today and can save you a lot of money over the course of their lifetimes. In fact, they last several years so you don’t even need to worry about their disposal very often at all. The one drawback to these bulbs is that they cost more initially than other bulbs, which can be prohibitive to purchasing them if you’re on an immediate budget.

Disposing of CFL Bulbs

The more common option for energy efficient light bulbs in the home is to use compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). These are the ones that are a little bit tougher to dispose of. They contain small amounts of mercury, a toxic chemical that can’t just be sent to the dump with your normal trash. However, there are several different options for proper disposal of these bulbs:

  • Drop them off at a local store that handles their disposal. There are many stores that accept CFLs and will dispose of them for you. Two of the biggest examples are IKEA and Home Depot. Ask around locally to see if this is an option in your area.
  • Place them in your neighborhood’s hazardous waste collection bin. Many communities do hazardous waste collections a few times each year. CFL bulbs can be saved for placement in these collections when they come around.
  • Get information about hazardous waste disposal in your area. If your neighborhood doesn’t come by to collect this waste then contact your local trash collection service to find out how hazardous waste is supposed to be disposed of in your area. There is usually somewhere that you can go to drop of these materials including CFL bulbs.

Note that if you break a CFL bulb then you should handle its disposal carefully to make sure that you aren’t exposed to the mercury inside. Open all of the windows and leave the room for at least twenty minutes. Come back into the room with a wet rag and wearing disposable gloves and clean up the entire area. Put the bulb, the rag and the gloves into a plastic bag. Put this bag in a second plastic bag and seal both bags. Dispose of this in whatever manner your area requires for disposal of hazardous materials.

Whether you choose LED or CFLs, these energy efficient bulbs can help you save money on your monthly electricity bill as you can read from this Simple tips to save energy article.