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.

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.

  • Batteries Plus Bulbs: Accepts CFL, HID & Fluorescent Tubes
    2905 Capital Mall Dr. SW, Olympia (570-0000)
    Up to 10 bulbs per day at no charge
  • Home Depot: Accepts compact fluorescent light 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
  • Lincoln Creek Lumber/Ace Hardware: Accepts CFL, HID & Fluorescent Tubes
    2421 93rd Ave SW, Tumwater (956-9147)
    Up to 10 bulbs per day at no charge
  • Lowe's: Accepts compact fluorescent light bulbs only (no tubes)
    5610 Corporate Center Lane SE, Lacey (359-9044)
    4230 Martin Way E, Olympia (486-0856)
    No charge
  • Olympia Ace Hardware: Accepts CFL, HID & Fluorescent Tubes
    400 Cooper Point Road, Olympia (236-0093)
    Up to 10 bulbs per day at no charge
  • Puget Sound Energy:  Accepts compact fluorescent light bulbs only (no tubes) - customers only
    2711 Pacific Avenue SE, Olympia (888-225-5773)
    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.

This page last updated: