How to recycle and handle a burned-out or broken CFL

Handling burned-out or broken compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)

CFLs can contain 3 to 15 milligrams of elemental mercury sealed within a glass housing. ADEQ encourages households to use, recycle, and dispose of CFLs properly to prevent the release of mercury into the environment and allow for the reuse of glass, metals and other materials that are part of a CFL’s structure.

What should I do with burned-out CFLs?

Because mercury can be released into the soil, water and air when CFLs are broken, improperly disposed of or incinerated, you should take advantage of local recycling options. Ask local merchants that sell CFLs whether they accept burned-out lamps for recycling (e.g. home improvement retailers). You can check with your local household hazardous waste (HHW) collection centers as well.

If Energy Star® qualified CFLs fail within the given warranty period, they can be returned to the retailer. Energy Star is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through superior energy efficiency.

How should I clean up a broken CFL?

In the event that you have to clean up broken CFLs from a hard or soft surface, follow these instructions:
CFL Cleanup Guide | View >

Contact your local city or county for more information on proper disposal of burned out or broken CFLs.