How To Recycle or Clean Up A Broken CFL Bulb

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CFL bulbs

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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.

  • Ian Andrew

    As the Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greener Ideal, Ian has been a driving force in environmental journalism and sustainable lifestyle advocacy since 2008. With over a decade of dedicated involvement in environmental matters, Ian has established himself as a respected expert in the field. Under his leadership, Greener Ideal has consistently delivered independent news and insightful content that empowers readers to engage with and understand pressing environmental issues.

    Ian’s expertise extends beyond editorial leadership; his hands-on experience in exploring and implementing sustainable practices equips him with practical knowledge that resonates with both industry professionals and eco-conscious audiences. This blend of direct involvement and editorial oversight has positioned Ian as a credible and authoritative voice in environmental journalism and sustainable living.

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