Light globes and bulbs are most commonly disposed of into general waste and ultimately, landfill, however all fluorescent bulbs, globes and tubes should be recycled.
Old-style incandescent globes should be discarded by wrapping in paper then disposing in your general waste bin. Fluorescent globes, however, must not be disposed of this way but instead recycled.
Fluorescent lights, including compact fluorescent lights (CFL), have many advantages over incandescent lights and they use far less electricity that their older counterparts. They are better for the environment except for the fact that they contain mercury. The amount used is tiny, but if it leaches into the environment via landfill, damage to life of all kinds (including human) is significant.
The largest source of mercury in landfill is a result of dumping fluorescent tubes and lamps. Recycling is crucial.
Some tips include:
- Never treat your light globes, bulbs, or tubes as regular household waste.
- Recycle at a local collection point (contact your local council for guidelines) or at an IKEA store.
Recycled globes and bulbs return up to 80% of their components to the supply stream, including glass, metal, and mercury, with the remaining 20% being plastic and this is usually used for energy production.
If a CFL is broken, the following steps must be taken to prevent exposure to toxic mercury:
- If the lamp is cold when broken: collect broken lamp scrap and place it in a glass jar with a lid. Dry the floor with a small damp rag and seal the rag in the glass jar, sealing it and labelling that it contains mercury from a broken globe. Take to a suitable recycling facility (seek instructions from local council).
- If the lamp is hot when broken: close doors to room where breakage occurred and open windows to ventilate. Leave the room for thirty minutes. Collect scrap later as per above instructions. Don’t use a vacuum cleaner as this can further spread any airborne mercury droplets and represents an inhalation risk.
When considering rubbish removal in Tempe, you can drop off used bulbs and globes at various neighbourhood service centres or at a local IKEA for effective disposal and recycling.
Contact AA Adonis Rubbish Removals in Tempe and elsewhere in Southern Sydney for all non-hazardous rubbish removal. We come to your door, sort and load, and take it all away for proper disposal on your behalf.