How to recycle them? – HIP tries to shed some light on the question

“Can light bulbs be recycled?” asked a HIP reader? An awful lot of defective bulbs are discarded each year – where is the proper place to put them? 

Number one rule: they do not ever go into glass recycling. Essentially, it’s a divide between household waste (aka the rubbish bin) and specialist recycling. 

Look closely at the bulb when disposing, on the base – albeit in very small letters – it’ll usually say what type.

The old-fashioned incandescent bayonet or screw bulbs are no longer widely sold, but many remain, cannot be recycled and may go into the household waste. Halogen bulbs can’t be recycled either and should also go there.

Compact fluorescent (CPL) energy saving bulbs contain small amounts of mercury making them potentially toxic. Hence don’t chuck them in the house rubbish – it’s actually illegal to do so. They’re subject to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations intended to prevent pollution via landfill and reclaim very valuable precious metals, including lead, mercury and cadmium, for reuse. Currently WEEE reclamation is increasing at about 6% per year.

CPLs can be taken to the Hastings household waste recycling at Freshfields (off the A259 Bexhill Road at Bulverhythe) or Robert Dyas in Priory Meadow.

LED lamps are also subject to WEEE rules: they can’t be put in your dustbin and instead must go to the household waste site (along with old phones, TVs, computers, etc). This also applies to unbroken fluorescent tubes (also containing mercury). 

More information

The good news? Most modern bulbs have a very long life…

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