Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use significantly less energy than traditional (incandescent) light bulbs. If every America home replaced one bulb with a CFL, we'd save enough energy to light 3 million homes, and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to ~800,000 cars. Even though CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, that amount is significantly less than the amount of mercury avoided as a result of the energy savings.
Recycling Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
- CFL bulbs: It is illegal to place CFL bulbs in the garbage, because they contain a small amount of mercury. You can recycle CFLs (bulbs ONLY) at any of the locations in the green box below. CFLs (bubls and tubes) are also collected at Household Hazardous Waste Clean-Up days for free. NOTE: if you have fluorescent tubes, please scroll down for recycling options as these are not accepted at the locations listed in the table below.
City of Burnsville Maintenance Facility
City of Apple Valley Maintenance Facility
Cleanlites Recycling, Inc
Home Depot store locator
Menards store locator
Ace store locator
True Value store locator
- Fluorescent tubes: These cannot be placed in the trash. Instead, take them to The Recycling Zone [free from a residential source, for a fee from businesses], Batteries Plus, or Certified Recycling for a fee, so they may be disposed of properly and safely.
Why use a CFL?
- A CFL can save more than $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime if used instead of an incandescent bulb
- It uses 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and lasts 10 times longer
- Produces about 75% less heat, so it's safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling
Preventing CFLs from Breaking:
- Always switch off and allow the bulb to cool before handling. If possible, screw/unscrew the CFL by holding the plastic or ceramic base, not the glass tubing
- Do not overtighten
- Keep out of lamps that could easily tip
Cleaning Up a Broken CFL:
Exposure to broken CFLs can pose a health risk, especially to pregnant women and young children.
- Open a window, shut off central air conditioning or forced-air heating, and clear the room for at least 15 minutes, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends.
- Follow the detailed cleanup steps for either hard surfaces or carpeting/rugs posted on the EPA web site.
Check out these other helpful links:
- For purchasing tips visit the Energy Star web site.
- Find more information on facts and myths about CFLs.