Energy Saving Lightbulb Disposal
Energy saving lightbulbs (also called CFLs - compact fluorescent lamps) are increasingly common, as they use considerably less energy than standard lightbulbs and also last for a lot longer.
Energy saving lightbulbs do not pose a danger to the public, but do need to be disposed of sensibly.
There are three options open to Haringey residents for safely disposing of energy saving lightbulbs
More information on each of these is given below.
There is a Reuse and Recycling Centres in Haringey, which has collection points for energy saving lightbulbs - ask a staff member on arrival to show you where to deposit your bulbs. The Centre is located at:
- Western Road, Wood Green, N22 6UG
The Centre is open 8.30am-4pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-4pm at weekends (closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and Good Friday).
- For more information please visit the Reuse and Recycling Centre page.
Energy saving lightbulbs are covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which requires manufacturers and retailers to make arrangements and provide information to residents on the safe disposal of electrical items.
Most retailers make these arrangements through a producer compliance scheme, and the collection points for these are at the Reuse and Recycling Centres detailed above.
However, some retailers do offer their own in-store collection points. These may be advertised at the store entrance, or you can ask a member of staff. Some retailers advertise their collection points on the Recolight website - free lamp recycling (external link).
Although the accidental breakage of a lamp is unlikely to cause any health problems, it is good practice to minimise any unnecessary exposure to mercury, as well as risk of cuts from glass fragments.
The Health Protection Agency has issued this advice on what to do if an energy saving lightbulb breaks:
- ventilate the room
- wipe the area with a damp cloth, place that in a plastic bag and seal it. Alternatively, cover the area with talcum powder, sweep it into a bag or container, and then seal it
- sticky tape (e.g. duct tape or similar) can be used to pick up small residual pieces or powder from soft furnishings and then placed in a sealed plastic bag. The plastic bag doesn't need to be air tight, but should be reasonably sturdy
- place it in another, similar bag and seal that one - this will minimise cuts from broken glass.
The bags should not be disposed of in your bin. You will need to arrange a free hazardous waste collection for the bags/containers - for more information on how to do this, please visit the hazardous waste page.
There is comprehensive information about the safe use and disposal of energy saving lightbulbs on the Defra archive website (external link). This page also provides answers to a number of frequently asked questions about energy saving lightbulbs.
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