Light Bulbs (Fluorescent / CFL)

Alternative ways to recycle
Illegal in Garbage & Drains
Hazardous Waste

FREE Household Hazardous and Electronic Waste Collection Event September 30, 2023

Saturday, September 30, 2023

More Info

Get Reminder

Light Bulbs can be dropped off at any S.A.F.E. Center or at:

The Home Depot
24451 Crenshaw Blvd | (310) 325-9600
Map & Directions
Bulbs can be handed off at the returns desk. Bulbs should be unbroken.

Never Throw in the Garbage

Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, which is a hazard for your health and the environment. Never throw them away. Store them outside in a sealed container, and dispose of them as hazardous waste.


Air Out Room if Bulb Breaks

Broken CFL bulbs can release mercury vapor. If one breaks, clear people and pets out of the room, and then air it out for five to ten minutes. To stop the vapor from spreading, also shut off the heat, ventilation and air-conditioning.


Avoid Vacuuming if Possible

Don’t use a vacuum to clean up because this can spread the mercury powder from a broken CFL bulb. Instead, sweep up broken pieces with cardboard or paper. If there are any leftover shards of glass, use a piece of tape to pick them up.

Identifying a CFL Bulb

If you are unsure if your bulb is CFL, check if your bulb is listed with these other CFL bulbs: linear, U-tube and circline fluorescent tubes, bug zappers, tanning bulbs, black lights, germicidal bulbs, high output bulbs and cold-cathode fluorescent bulbs.

Alternative Ways to Recycle


Recycle at Lowe's

Lowe’s accepts rechargeable batteries and CFLs at any of their store locations for free recycling. Find the nearest store.

home depot logo

Recycle at Home Depot

Home Depot accepts CFL bulbs for recycling, though not all locations accept fluorescent tubes or LED light bulbs. Call ahead if you are trying to dispose of a fluorescent tube or LED bulb.

Batteries Plus Bulbs Recycling Services

Batteries Plus Bulbs accepts a wide variety of batteries and light bulbs for recycling, including CFLs and fluorescent tubes. See a full list of items they accept here. Depending on the item, a small fee may apply. Find your closest location.

Find a CFL Recycler

Use this search tool by to find a CFL bulb recycler close to you.

Mail-Back Programs

There are a number of organizations that sell mail-back kits for fluorescent and CFL light bulbs. The cost of each kit includes shipping charges. Check out this list of programs on the EPA’s website to get started.

Did You Know?

Which Bulbs Are More Energy Efficient Than Incandescent Lamps?

LED lights are more energy efficient than incandescent and CFL bulbs: They last 50 times as long as traditional incandescent bulb and use 80 percent less energy. Fluorescent bulbs last three to 25 times longer than incandescents and use anywhere between 20 and 80 percent less energy.