What to do with it when you're done with it
arrowstep 2step3
Recycle your Compact Fluorescent Bulb/Fluorescent Tube

Step 1: Your Community is

Step 2: Your Selection is

Compact Fluorescent Bulb/Fluorescent Tube


Compact Fluorescent Bulb/Fluorescent Tube


Compact Fluorescent Bulb/Fluorescent Tube

Central Transfer and Recycling Center
Clark Public Utilities (Customers can drop off CFL's at any one of 3 office locations)
E-tech Collection

Home Depot
Mobile Collection Events
Washougal Transfer Station
West Van Material Recovery Center


Fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs contain significant amounts of mercury that can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Mercury is a toxic substance harmful to both humans and wildlife. When fluorescent tubes/bulbs are broken, the mercury contained within can be released, creating a risk of exposure to the mercury vapor. Mercury that is exposed to the air can enter the environment and be deposited in lakes and rivers, where it can be transformed into highly toxic methylmercury. A half-teaspoon of mercury can contaminate an average lake for several hundred years. Fish or other wildlife can then ingest mercury passing it up the food chain to humans. Once mercury enters the food chain, it is nearly impossible to remove. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 600 million fluorescent tubes/bulbs are disposed of annually, with over 80% ending up in landfills. Instead of landfilling your lamps, they can now be recycled.

Fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs may be taken to a household hazardous waste (HHW) disposal facility or event to be recycled. Recycled materials that can be recovered from the tubes/bulbs are aluminum, glass, phosphor and nearly pure liquid mercury. The locations and the hours and days of operation of the facilities and events are listed below:


The following steps can be performed by the general public:

1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.

2. Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag.
• Use disposable rubber gloves, if available (i.e., do not use bare hands). Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the plastic bag.
• Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

3. Place all cleanup materials in a second sealed plastic bag.
• Place the first bag in a second sealed plastic bag and put it in the outdoor trash container or
• Transport to a HHW disposal facility or event.
• Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.

4. If a fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet:
• First, remove all materials you can without using a vacuum cleaner, following the steps above. Sticky tape (such as duct tape) can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.
• If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag or vacuum debris in two sealed plastic bags in the outdoor trash or
• Transport to a HHW disposal facility or event.


If you live in Clark County or one of its cities, you may recycle Fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs at any of the following HHW collection sites or events. Business-generated hazardous waste will not be accepted.

To recycle or dispose of your HHW products at a HHW disposal site or event:


• Keep HHW products separate (do not mix).
• Bring products in their original containers when possible.
• Seal products to prevent leaks and spills.
• Keep products away from the driver and passengers, i.e., in a trunk, truck bed, or trailer.
• Keep children and pets away from collection sites and events.


• Exceed 25 gallons or 220 pounds of HHW per event.
• Bring unlabeled, empty or leaking containers, asbestos, explosives or ammunition, radioactive or infectious waste, or business-generated waste to the collection site.

Disposal Options