As a follow up to a post earlier this week about the Chinese re-opening old mercury mines to manufacture CFL light bulbs, here’s a quick refresher on what to do if you break a bulb, or how to recycle one if it burns out.
If the bulb is still intact and simply burned out, the process is simple:
- Place the CFL in a sealed plastic bag
- Drop it off at Home Depot, RONA, IKEA, or another Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection centre.
If the bulb has broken, the process is a bit more tedious:
- Open a nearby window for 15 minutes to release vapours
- Put on rubber gloves – don’t touch the bulbs with your bare hands
- Don’t use a vacuum or broom to clean it up
- Use a stiff piece of paper or cardboard to sweep up the shards and put them in a plastic bag
- Wipe the area clean with a wet paper towel, then put the paper towel in the sealed plastic bag
- Don’t throw the bag in the garbage – take it to a HHW collection centre
Keep this in mind next time you’re changing your bulbs. It’s nothing to be freaked out about, but safe CFL handling is always good practice.