CFL bulbs

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:

  1. Place the CFL in a sealed plastic bag
  2. 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:

  1. Open a nearby window for 15 minutes to release vapours
  2. Put on rubber gloves – don’t touch the bulbs with your bare hands
  3. Don’t use a vacuum or broom to clean it up
  4. Use a stiff piece of paper or cardboard to sweep up the shards and put them in a plastic bag
  5. Wipe the area clean with a wet paper towel, then put the paper towel in the sealed plastic bag
  6. 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.

Related:   EU Bans Incandescent Light Bulbs For 2010


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