Recycle Fluorescent Bulbs

Recycle Fluorescent Bulbs

  • Posted: Jun 30, 2014
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Fluorescent bulbs supply efficient lighting to homes and business, and because of the savings in energy cost they are being used more. For all the benefits they provide society, fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and cannot be disposed of like other light bulbs. Many people may not understand the issues or the laws governing the disposal of fluorescent bulbs in their community. In California fluorescent bulbs are considered a “Universal Waste” and it’s illegal to dump fluorescent bulbs in the trash.

Government Regulation

The Clean Air Act lists mercury as one of the most toxic elements that polluters put into the air today. Mercury can also leach into the ground and get into water supplies. The government tackles the problem by first monitoring our drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act, then will use enforcement for illegal pollution under the Clean Water Act. Mercury poisoning can cause tremors, distort cognitive responses and contributes to sleep disorders. Every community is responsible for keeping mercury under control and each has developed a way to deal with it. For example, in California it’s illegal for businesses and consumers to intentionally break any mercury containing bulbs. Certain states allow machines which can crush bulbs but in California that is not legal. Learn about some recent compliance fines.

Recycling Fixes the Problem

Recycling is a positive step. Recycling fluorescent bulbs ensures that every part of a bulb is put back to work. The metal parts are recycled as scrap metal. The glass is manufactured into new glass and the mercury is reused in new fluorescent bulbs. This is the best way to deal with the problem. The recycling effort also removes the threat of harm from glass and sharp metal loose in the ground. Recycling fluorescent bulbs decreases the amount of undesirable waste consigned to landfills every year. Recycling companies in California have to comply with stringent collection and handling requirements so it’s best to work with a reputable recycler.

Recycle San Diego

A universal waste recycling company that recycles fluorescent bulbs and e-waste.   Recycle San Diego offers a way to deal with the problem of fluorescent bulbs. Companies like Recycle San Diego charge a fee that ranges from $.40 cents to $1.50 per fluorescent bulb (depending on the type of bulb). People can drop off the bulbs at their facility at 8222 Ronson Rd, San Diego, CA 92111. Mon-Fri 8:30am -5:00pm. Businesses can request a pickup or purchase prepaid recycling kits which can be found at