Household hazardous waste disposal

How to safely dispose of fluorescent bulbs

Fluorescent lights save energy and money, and protect the environment. Using them reduces the amount of energy that needs to be produced by power plants. Fluorescent lights also contain small amounts of mercury, so they need to be managed properly. There are several options for recycling fluorescent lights here in Thurston County.

How to prepare lamps for recycling

Used lamps are fragile and should be handled carefully to avoid breakage. The best way to transport fluorescent tubes is in their original box. If this is not possible, you can wrap them in newspaper or plastic to keep them from breaking. Please do not tape tubes together, as they will need to be loose to be recycled. Burnt out bulbs may also be placed in a 6-pack container, packed with newspapers. Learn how to make a bulb carrier.

flourscentWhat to do if you break a fluorescent bulb

Because fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, broken bulbs need to be cleaned up with care. Learn what to do if a bulb breaks.

Where to recycle fluorescent bulbs

Recycle your fluorescent bulbs at the following locations during regular business hours. If you have an unusual type of tube or bulb (for example, 8 foot straight tubes or circular fluorescent bulbs), call first to make sure the store will accept them.

  • Home Depot: Accepts bulbs only (no tubes) 1101 Kingswood Dr SW, Tumwater (786-9890) 1325 Fones Rd SE, Olympia (412-1900) 1450 Marvin Rd NE, Lacey (459-4256) No charge
  • Puget Sound Energy (customers only): Accepts bulbs only (no tubes) 42711 Pacific Avenue S.E., Olympia 888-225-5773 at no charge.

For information on recycling fluorescent bulbs for businesses, call the Thurston County Business Pollution Program at 360-867-2664.

HazoHouse and the WasteMobile

All types of mercury-containing lamps can be recycled at HazoHouse and the WasteMobile, including straight fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), high-intensity discharge lamps, neon lamps, and mercury vapor lamps. Please bring no more than 10 tubes or bulbs per day per customer, and no more than 15 ballasts per day per customer.

Learn more about household products containing mercury .

Contact us

Call the Solid Waste Hotline at (360) 867-2491 or e-mail.

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