How long is your fluorescent bulb? Regardless of the size, you need to familiarize yourself with the bulb's proper disposal if you want to enjoy its many benefits.

Fluorescent bulbs are cost-effective and energy-efficient, and people use them for the following reasons:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • They're 75% more energy-efficient than incandescent lamps
  • Longer lifespan of up to ten times than standard incandescent light lamps
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Appropriate disposal of long fluorescent bulbs

All fluorescent tubes and bulbs are considered hazardous waste because they contain mercury. Most environment protection agencies recommend that mercury-rich materials be taken to recycling centers, household toxic waste disposal facilities, and certified recycling facilities.

When mercury-containing bulbs are disposed of in standard trash, they break to release the mercury to the environment. Human beings can inhale the mercury vapor and absorb it into the bloodstream. Exposure to mercury places their health at risk.

Besides, mercury released by broken fluorescent bulbs gets into the atmosphere to combine with atmospheric water. Later, it falls back into the water bodies mixed with rainwater and contaminate the water supplies.

How to recycle or dispose of long fluorescent bulbs at home or in a small business

1.Locate a household hazardous waste collection center near you

Take the fluorescent bulb to your local household hazardous waste collection center. You can find hazardous waste collection centers near you by searching "Household hazardous waste collection center near me" or enter your zip code.

2. Local government guidelines

Check the website of your local government to check the latest hazardous waste collection and disposal information.

3. Universal waste handler

If you're removing the fluorescent bulb from your business, you can dispose of it at a universal waste handler near you.

4. Prepaid mailing programs

Businesses can also send their bulbs to recyclers or universal waste handlers through prepaid mailing containers. Check your local government's website to see the latest updates about fluorescent bulbs disposal by businesses.

5. Be cautious not to break the bulb

While placing an 8-foot fluorescent bulb in standard trash may seem challenging, it's advisable to dispose of it as a whole without trying to compress it. It's important to be careful when storing them and transporting them to recycling centers. Check the following guidelines to enable you to dispose of the tubes safely:

  • Don't tape the bulbs together. They will crash and break, releasing mercury, which might place your health at risk.
  • Store and transport the fluorescent bulbs in their original boxes or find another sealable container.
  • Store them in a safe place, away from water or rain.


Fluorescent bulbs have many benefits over incandescent lamps. However, they require proper disposal to ensure that their mercury doesn't pollute the environment or put public health at risk. If you've got a long fluorescent bulb you need to dispose of, consider taking it to your local recycler.