Fluorescent lighting is one of the best types of lighting to use, because it is versatile so can be used in many different rooms and spaces and it also is very cost-efficient so your electricity bill won’t be huge when using T5 lamps. On top of that the replacement bulbs for any T5 fixture are long lasting and when they do go out, they are easy to find and pretty cheap. But what to do with your old fluorescent bulbs, when you replace them with new ones after they go out? The answer is you recycle them.
Recycling CFL, HID, incandescent or even LED bulbs is easy, because they are smaller in size, meaning that you can usually fit them into one of those bulb recycling containers that can often be found in schools, stores and other social type of places. But you won’t be able to do that with a fluorescent light, because of two reasons. Firstly T5 bulbs they are longer in size, so they won’t fit inside of these containers. In fact the two most common sizes of T5 florescent bulbs are 2 and 4 feet, meaning that you will need to find an alternative way how to recycle these bulbs. And secondly fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, meaning that if the bulb breaks it becomes a health hazard, especially if the broken bulb is left sitting in a room for a longer period of time, like it often happens with these bulb recycling bins.
One option for recycling fluorescent bulbs is to check if your local hardware or other retail stores don’t have bigger bulb recycling boxes. Usually at least one of these type of stores in any city do offer customers to drop off their bulbs for recycling. Even well-known brand stores like IKEA and Home Depot are among those who do accept bulbs for recycling.
The second option that you can research is mail-in recycling programs. Nowadays, many people not only shop online but take care of basically everything online. Which is why you can even find mail-in recycling companies that allow you to mail them the items you need to recycle free of charge. Afterwards you will be able to forget about these bulbs, because the mail-in recycling program will make sure that your items, including fluorescent bulbs will be recycled properly and in an environmentally friendly way.
And lastly you can also always bring any fluorescent lamps to household hazardous waste drop-off point. Usually there are a few of these types of places in a larger area where people can bring their hazardous waste, which then will be disposed of in a nonhazardous way.
Just make sure that if your fluorescent bulb does break before you get the chance to recycle it or during transit, you not only sweep up all of the broken glass and other pieces of the bulb, by placing them in a plastic bag and transport the broken bulb to the nearest bulb recycling point, but that you also air out the room in which the bulb broke, so that there is no chance that the mercury inside of this fluorescent bulb can pose a danger to your health.