Light bulbs are a common household waste in all homes. The recycling of light bulbs is not an easy matter to carry out. Each type of bulb is recycled differently, in fact, some bulbs aren’t even recycled at all. There are many people who do not know how to recycle light bulbs or what should be done with them.
Why recycle light bulbs?
Light bulbs of all kinds could be disposed of in collection points or if there is no other choice in gray containers, but the serious problem is that many of them contain toxic elements.
These elements are potentially dangerous for those who handle the garbage, so recycling them is the best way to dispose of them, avoiding accidents, contributing to the recovery of their parts and not polluting the environment.
Although it is true that sometimes it is difficult to find the ideal place to recycle the different types of light bulbs, what can NEVER be done is to dispose of the light bulbs, tubes or luminaires in glass containers, since they are made up of several different elements that they must be separated.
It is worth informing yourself and looking for suitable containers to deposit them in the corresponding one.
Recycling a light bulb means making sure that it is not part of the common garbage, whose final destination is a landfill, preventing it from joining the enormous number of elements of the most diverse nature that pollute and degrade the environment.
Although it may seem strange, as we pointed out at the beginning, not all light bulbs can be recycled. Halogen lamps and incandescent light bulbs are not included in WEEE, which is a regulation that regulates the correct environmental management of electrical and electronic equipment waste.
How to creatively recycle light bulbs
Creative reuse, better known as upgrading recycling, includes the conversion of discarded or no longer useful products into new products of higher quality or ecological value. It is never recommended to use fluorescent bulbs in such projects, as they contain highly toxic mercury. In this case, we will present some ideas to give new uses to old incandescent bulbs.
- Mini vase: By removing part of the lid and the inner wire, we can use the bombilla as a vase to place small flowers. We can put a base and decorate the table or shelf, or if we add some ropes or wires to hang them, we will have a fantastic vertical garden.
- Coat rack: The bulb is empty inside, we just have to put cement on it, put a screw on it and wait for it to solidify. Now we just have to make a small hole in the wall and place our coat rack. We can also use it to renew the handles of all types of doors.
- Oil lamps: As always, the first thing to do is to remove the filament from the bulb. Next, we will have to place oil or alcohol for lamps or torches and place the wick.
- Terrariums: With some pebbles and a small plant or piece of moss we can make a terrarium. As with the mini vases, we can place a base on them or hang them.
- Ship in a light bulb: In the same way as if it were a bottle, we can build a ship inside our light bulb.
Where to recycle light bulbs
When it comes to how to recycle light bulbs, simply figuring out where to recycle your light bulbs is often the most challenging part of the entire process. These are the best places to recycle light bulbs:
- Curbside recycling. This is a good option for incandescent and halogen bulbs but check with your municipality first to make sure they are allowed.
- Local retail stores. As a service to customers, many national chains and local retailers have recycling bins designed for LED or CFL bulbs.
- Recycling centres: If they do accept light bulbs, recycling centres often have special facilities to handle them.
- Waste management facilities. Some of the larger waste management companies recycle or can facilitate sending recyclable materials to specialists. You will need to contact those that operate in your area to find out if and how they do this.
What are light bulbs recycled into?
During the recycling process, light bulbs are separated into different materials, including plastic, glass, metal, distillers’ phosphor powder, and elemental mercury, and those materials are used to make all sorts of new things, like countertops and more light bulbs.
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