Proper light bulb disposal can be confusing with so many different kinds of bulbs today. This is how you should properly dispose of them in the Indianapolis area.
The standard light bulbs we’ve used for many years can be safely thrown out. The don’t contain any hazardous material other then sharp edges if they are broken. Put them in your normal trash bag or bin with no special precautions.
CFL & FLOURESCENT TUBES
Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and flourescent tubes contain small amounts of mercury and should be recycled. They should not be put into general waste and end up in a landfill. The mercury can leech into the soil and contaminate our drinking water. The best plan is to take them to a county recycling center, such as TOX DROP in Marion County. Another option is to take them to a retailer who offers free recyling. Large retailers who sell them, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s stores will accept them free of charge.
Light emitting diodes (LED) do not contain mercury, but they do contain arsenic and lead. They should be recycled, not put in the trash. Some counties, such as Marion and Hendricks Counties, will accept and recycle them. The best bet is to contact the county recycling center for more information.
Halogen bulbs contain halogen gas, so they are difficult to recycle. Most communities do not recycle them. However, the retailers listed above will accept them and can then decide the best way to handle them.