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Fluorescent Bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and special care must be taken for recycling. At Logan Landfill they are crushed inside a contained unit and sent to a facility that specializes in recycling this waste.

Fluorescent light bulbs, or lamps, come in many shapes and sizes.  Energy-saving compact fluorescents are now available in the traditional light bulb dome shape as well as twin tubes and the spiral twist bulb.  Some other types of fluorescent bulbs are circular (circline) lamps, U-tubes, and straight lamps, which can be found in any length from two to eight feet

Recycle with GSWMD:
Logan Landfill
HHW events at the Bozeman Convenience Site – 2nd Saturday of each month 9AM to Noon

Fluorescent Light Bulb Fees for Commercial Customers at Logan Landfill:
7 ft or less                $0.50/ea
8 ft or more             $1.00/ea
Non-PCB Ballasts  $1.00/ea
PCB Ballasts            $2/lb

What is a PCB ballast? Find out here.

Incandescent and LED light bulbs do not contain mercury and should be discarded with regular trash.

Where Else Can I Take Fluorescent Bulbs?
Lowe’s Home Improvement: Compact (curly) bulbs only – no straight bulbs
Home Depot: Compact bulbs only.
Batteries Plus Bulbs: All kinds – fees may apply.

Exercise caution when handling these bulbs.  If they break, the mercury vapor in the bulb is released and can be harmful to your health. If you do break a fluorescent bulb of any kind, you should open a window to ventilate the room, and then leave the room for 10-15 minutes to allow the mercury vapor to dissipate.  On returning to the room, use a broom to clean up the broken bulb. Do not use a vacuum, which may redistribute fine particles around the room.  The broken pieces should be placed in the trash. Since the mercury has escaped, they are no longer hazardous waste.   If you notice a white powder, this is phosphorous.  It can be placed in the trash with the broken pieces. 

You may be wondering if CFLs are worth the extra effort. According to the EPA, Energy Star qualified CFLs, as compared to incandescent bulbs, use about one-quarter of the energy to produce the same amount of light, and last up to 10 times longer. This energy conservation can translate into $30 in electricity savings over each bulb’s lifetime. Since CFLs save energy, less energy is drawn from coal-burning power plants. As coal is burned, power plants emit mercury, which pollutes rivers and lakes and makes fish unsafe to eat. By reducing energy use, CFLs actually save mercury from being emitted by coal fired power plants.   Fluorescent lamps do not release mercury unless they are broken.