Hazards

  • Fluorescent light bulbs, including energy saving compact fluorescents, contain mercury. When a bulb breaks, it releases mercury - which is toxic to the human nervous system and can poison wildlife - into the air. Fishing in many Massachusetts water bodies is restricted due to mercury contamination.
  • When a light bulb breaks, projected shards of glass may injure eyes or skin.

Handling

Management Options

  • See the MassDEP Fluorescent & Mercury-Added Light Bulbs web page.
  • Check the map below to find for drop-off locations near you that accept mercury-containing products for recycling or see the list of Mercury Recycling Companies Serving Massachusetts .

    Image: Map of Massachusetts Mercury Recycling Drop-Off Locations
  • Take to a municipal recycling center, if fluorescent bulbs are accepted. A state contract for bulb collection is available for municipalities and public sector agencies. For a copy of the award notice, visit the COMMBUYS Electronic Procurement System and search for contract number FAC26.
  • Save for the next household hazardous waste collection in your community, if accepted in your program.
  • Do not dispose of in the trash, especially if your community's solid waste goes to a combustion facility.

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