Can You Throw Away Light Bulbs? ( Detailed and Answered)

If you throw away light bulbs without replacing them with new ones, you’re throwing away money-saving energy.

After all, most people spend quite a bit of money every month powering their lights. So, can you throw away light bulbs?

Many people mistakenly believe that you can throw away light bulbs once they burn out. However, this is not true!

Light bulbs are made of glass that contains mercury and other metals. When you throw them away in your household waste, they may end up in a landfill or incinerator.

The mercury in the glass can leak out and cause serious health problems for people and the environment. Instead, you should exchange the burned out bulbs with new light bulbs that save energy.

Can You Throw Away Light Bulbs?

In general, incandescent and halogen bulbs are not recyclable.

If they are damaged, you should safeguard anybody handling them by taking safety precautions and wearing rubber gloves or other protective clothing.

Because compact fluorescent lights and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs contain small amounts of mercury and other metals, you should not remove them from their packaging or store them in containers.

How to Dispose of Incandescent Light Bulbs

Since the early 1900s, incandescent lightbulbs have been the most widely used type of bulb for household lighting.

However, greater efficiency and longer-lasting light bulbs are being introduced in the marketplace all the time.

They normally last 700 to 2,000 hours,

They have a wire filament in a thin, sealed glass bulb but no dangerous chemicals,

They are, however, delicate, and if they shatter, use less energy and last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Whether yours has burned out or is being phased out in favor of a more energy efficient alternative, you should dispose of incandescent bulbs as municipal solid waste (MSW).

How to Dispose of Fluorescent Bulbs

While incandescent bulbs contain almost no harmful chemicals, fluorescent bulbs, particularly the Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) have a small amount of mercury.

These thin glass tubes were coiled into compact storage tubes and filled with inert gases such as argon and krypton and a small amount of mercury.

These bulbs were the first form of fluorescent lighting to be commercially viable and were even used in the 1940s at US airbases.

Unfortunately, this means that many CFL bulbs are disposed of improperly and improperly recycled.

As a result, the accumulation of CFL bulbs in normal landfills and incinerators can have detrimental effects on the environment.

While incandescent bulbs are seldom recycled, Home Despot sells a recycle box that can be used to safely dispose of broken CFLs.

Furthermore, there are a lot of websites for recycling CFLs and other fluorescent lighting.

How to Dispose of Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent tube lights, while cost saving and long lasting, require special disposal methods.

The glass in fluorescent tube lights and compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury.

As hazardous waste, they are not authorized to be disposed in the regular trash.

These tubes are recycled and converted into new lighting products.

The Environmental Protection Agency of the United states has prepared a set of guidelines to follow when disposing or recycling fluorescent lighting products.

Check with your local Home Despot nearest you for more details about special disposal methods for home and commercial fluorescent tube lights.

How to Dispose of Halogen Light Bulbs

Halogen lights, like incandescent bulbs, include wire filaments in glass jars filled with inert gases.

They are a sort of advanced incandescent bulb and produce a natural looking light. However, customers should be aware that since halogen light bulbs also contain small amounts of mercury and other elements that can evaporate and cause damage to the environment, they must be disposed of when broken.

Some halogen bulbs also contain phosphor materials that the company sells for disposal and recycling.

Again, check with your local Home Despot nearest you for more details about special disposal methods for home and commercial halogen light bulbs.

Halogen bulbs, which have a lifespan of 2,000 to 4,000 hours (depending on the model), should be used for lighting household tasks, such as installing wall fixtures and table lamps.

While halogen bulbs are less prone to shatter than incandescent bulbs due to the glass construction, they are generally more expensive to purchase and last longer so should be used only where direct lighting is needed.

How to Dispose of LED Bulbs

LED light bulbs are rapidly becoming more affordable for homeowners and commercial business that want to upgrade over existing light fixtures to more energy-efficient alternatives that provide better illumination and longer.

LEDs carry electrical charges that cause it to emit light when electronic voltage is applied.

Heavy metals such as lead and mercury are not used in the manufacture of LEDs as the source of illumination, but hazardous elements, such as phosphor, are used in their manufacturing.

To prevent LED bulbs from ending in the dump after only one year of use (the average lifespan of a bulb), homeowners and commercial businesses should dispose of them.

It is usually a good idea to replace halogen bulbs with LED ones because the LED ones use less energy and last longer.

The Environmental Protection Agency of the USA joined with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) to develop standards for disposing of products containing mercury by streamlining the process at.

Check with your local Home Supply Store to see if they buy used LED bulbs and recycle them for you.

Can I Repurpose Old Light Bulbs?

Assume you want to replace your incandescent light bulb with an LED one.

What can you do with the old bulbs if you do not want to throw them in the trash and send them to the landfill.

Fortunately, there are many interesting, creative projects you an do with them.

If you’re a skilled do-it-yourselfer, you may be tempted to reuse your old bulbs in some of your projects, and this is very important because recycling is good for the environment.

Also Read: How to Dispose of Old Pillows


In conclusion, you should replace burned out light bulbs with new ones rather than throwing them away.

Putting rubbish where it will cause problems for someone else, or the environment, is irresponsible and irresponsible behavior should not be tolerated in our communities.

When it comes to food trash, it all goes in one bin and it’s picked up on a certain day.

However, our desire for sustainability and our desire to throw as little as possible away have led us to produce far too much waste in our homes and in our neighborhoods. This excessive accumulation of trash has a devastating effect on our environment.

Before you attempt to dispose of your contemporary, energy-efficient bulbs, save the old one and reuse it for another purpose such as repurposing a light bulb as a night light or a chandelier.