Avoid breakage until you can bring your light bulbs to the recycler. Label a cardboard six-pack beverage carrier to be mercury-containing light bulb storage until you can take the bulbs to the nearest household-hazardous-waste facility or participating retailer. Step-by-step instructions for building a compact-fluorescent-light-bulb carrier are below.
For linear fluorescent tubes, label the original fluorescent-tube box or any tall box or barrel.
Download a "Mercury-containing Light Bulb" label to print out (274K PDF).
Call 1-800-RECYCLE for information on recycling locations.
How to Clean up a Broken Fluorescent Bulb Be careful not to break fluorescent bulbs, and know what to do when it happens. This page tells the steps to clean up.
Post the Mercury-containing Bulb Clean-up Card wherever you will remember to look.
|Mercury-containing bulb blown out? Store it carefully until you can take it in to be recycled.||Collect your supplies:
|Tear the paper into medium-sized pieces.||Wad the paper to make padding for your bulbs.|
|Insert a paper wad into each compartment.||Pick up your label. You can print out the downloadable label (as a 274K pdf file) on sticker paper OR...
use recycled office paper and adhere with tape or a glue stick.
|For a sticky label, peel off the backing.|
|Affix the label to your carrier.||Press it down carefully.|
|Gently place your spent light bulb into the new carrier until you can make it to the recycler.||Call 1-800-RECYCLE for information on recycling locations in Washington state.|
Reducing the release of mercury into the environment—ESSB 5543 passed the Washington State Legislature in 2010. It establishes a producer-financed product stewardship program for the collection, recycling, and disposal of mercury-containing lights. Producers of CFL lights must participate in and fully implement a product stewardship program by January 1, 2013. Beginning in 2013, no CFLs may be placed into the garbage. Ecology's Waste 2 Resources office is working with producers to implement this take-back program. The bill also prohibits the sale of bulk mercury by June 30, 2012.
Copyright © Washington State Department of Ecology. See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/copyright.html.