How To Recycle Light Bulbs

How You Can Recycle Lightbulbs

Image Credit: Alberto Sanchez

If you use modern low energy light bulbs, you may not need to dispose of them very often, but if you do, how can you ensure that they are disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly way?

Recycling Low Energy Light Bulbs

Low energy light bulbs are pretty much completely recyclable. If you take them for recycling they are broken up, elemental mercury and phosphor powder are removed and then the metal and glass can also be recycled.

Low energy lightbulbs should be taken to your local household recycling centre. There are however many locations around the country where you can also take them for recycling.

An organisation called Recolight collect light bulbs for recycling with a network of collection points for both households and businesses. Visit to find your nearest collection point. Collection points include household recycling centres, some council offices and selected branches of Robert Dyas and Sainsburys.

How To Recycle Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent Tubes are recyclable and can only be taken to Household recycling centres for domestic disposal. Commercial organisations can dispose of them via Recolight at their commercial collection points.

Incandescent Light Bulb Recycling

Old fashioned incandescent (also know as tungsten) light bulbs cannot be recycled and should be disposed of in domestic waste. They cannot be put in with glass recycling, as they are the wrong type of glass.

How To Recycle Fairy Lights

How can I Recycle Fairy Lights

Image Credit: Daniel G

Also known as party lights, festive lights, fairy lights and string lights.

If you are still using an old set of lights with replacable bulbs, the bulbs will be incandescent and should be disposed of in your household waste. The rest of the set can be recycled as an electrical item.

Sets of LED lights should be disposed of in the same way as as other small electrical items; either take them to your local recycling centre or put them out with your houshold recycling if your local council will collect them.

Related: How To Recycle Electrical and Electronic Items.

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