Do you have questions about how to recycle light bulbs and light fixtures? You are not alone, many people are also looking for responsible solutions to dispose of their burnt out bulbs and non-working fixtures. To help, here’s some handy light recycling information! And, there’s a video at the bottom of this blog that shows you what happens when you recycle your lights.
Regional Recycling participates in the province-wide BC LightRecycle program with Regeneration for fluorescent light tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs. This program includes all types of residential light bulbs including halogen, incandescent, and light emitting diodes (LED’s). We accept up to 16 bulbs and 16 tubes at a time, in any shape or size up to 8 feet in length. You can easily drop these products off for free at all BC Regional Recycling Locations.
Accepted Light Bulbs
Regional Recycling accepts household quantities of all types of light bulbs and tubes for recycling free at all of our Bottle Depots. This includes
• Fluorescent light tubes (straight, square, curved, U, circular etc.)
• Halogen and Incandescent
• UV and germicidal
• High-intensity discharge (HIDs)
• Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)
• Ultra High Performance (UHP)(replacement projector lamps)
• Light emitting diodes (LEDs)
Maximum Return Limit
The maximum limit for return at one time in the consumer collection system is 16 bulbs.
Accepted Lighting Fixtures and Products
We’ll also accept household quantities of lighting fixtures and products for recycling without charge at all of our Regional Recycling locations. This includes portable, hardwired, free standing and solar-powered products. The primary purpose of the product being recycled must be the illumination of space.
EXAMPLES OF ACCEPTED LIGHTING FIXTURES AND PRODUCTS INCLUDE:
• Bike Lights
• Ceiling Fixtures
• Floor lamps
• Light Strings (e.g. xmas lights)
• Outdoor fixtures
• Recessed/pot lights
• Security lights
• Table and Desk Lamps
• Wall fixtures
• Work lights
Maximum Return Limit
The maximum limit for return at one time is generally 5 fixtures.
Accepted Lighting Ballasts
You can recycle household quantities of lighting ballasts, including those containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at all of our depots.
Prior to 1980, some lighting ballasts manufacturing processes resulted in products that contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). That means these ballasts require special handling. It is especially important to identify these products separately from ballasts that do not contain PCBs, so that they DO NOT get taken to our depots.
If you are sure that your lighting ballasts do NOT contain PCBs, you can drop them off at anyRegional Recycling Bottle Depot.
WHAT ABOUT RESIDENTIAL-USE LIGHTS THAT ARE ACCIDENTALLY BROKEN?
Carefully place the broken item in a sealed plastic bag or a sealed glass container and then take it to a nearby Regional Recycling depot for safe recycling.
For clean-up instructions (for fluorescent lights that contain mercury such as CFLs and fluorescent tubes), visit the Health Canada website.
WHAT DO I DO WITH PRODUCTS THAT ARE NOT ACCEPTED IN THE PROGRAM?
To get disposal options for products not accepted in the program, call the Recycling Hotline at 604-732-9253 in the Lower Mainland and 1-800-667-4321 in the rest of BC.
I’VE HEARD THAT FLUORESCENT LIGHTS CONTAIN MERCURY. ARE THEY SAFE?
Fluorescent lights ( fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescents) do contain a very small amount of mercury. There really is no safe level of exposure to mercury, so you need to be extremely careful in order to ensure proper handling. The mercury inside a compact fluorescent light or fluorescent tube is only hazardous if released, typically only when the bulb is broken.
Follow these few simple steps to safely handle, store and transport compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and tubes:
• Recycle all your CFLs and fluorescent tubes to keep mercury out of landfills.
• Remove and install the CFL only by the base of the bulb to prevent any unnecessary pressure on the glass that could cause it to break.
• Store and transport CFLs and fluorescent lamps in containers such as original packaging. That will help prevent bulbs from breaking.
IF THEY CONTAIN MERCURY, WHY ARE FLUORESCENT LIGHTS CONSIDERED GREEN?
• Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) use up to 75% less energy and last over 10 times longer than your regular incandescent bulbs, thus reducing your electricity and shopping bills.
• Since they last longer than incandescent bulbs, using CFLs and fluorescent tubes consequently benefits the environment by reducing solid waste in our landfills.
Here is a little information about energy efficient light bulbs.
Energy efficient light bulbs save you money and most of all, they help the environment by using less electricity. And, because they don’t need to be replaced nearly as often as ordinary bulbs you are also reducing the quantity of waste.
Where can I recycle lights?
Recycle all of your low energy light bulbs at any of our REGIONAL RECYCLING Depots.