Some types of light globes can be recycled, but not in your household recycling bin.
Fluorescent tubes, compact fluoros (CFLs), HIDs (high-intensity discharge lights) and metal halides: these lights can be recycled through special council, commercial or community programs. They should not be put in your household recycling or garbage bin because they contain toxic substances that are hazardous to the environment.
Incandescent globes and halogens: these older style of globes are only accepted by some of these programs. If you cannot find a recycling option for these globes, it is safe to wrap them in paper and put them in the garbage bin.
Call the recycler before you drop off your used light globes to check which types they accept.
Residents in South Australia can access a free recycling program for household light globes including halogen, incandescent and fluorescent lights. Some councils in New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria have toxic waste programs that accept fluorescent lights for recycling.
HOW TO RECYCLE LIGHT GLOBES AT WORK
If your workplace or business has large quantities of light globes to recycle, visit Business Recycling to find suitable options.
WHY SHOULD I RECYCLE MY OLD LIGHT GLOBES?
Many types of light globes contain mercury, a toxic substance that can damage the environment when sent to landfill or contaminate recycling when incorrectly placed in household recycling bins.
By recycling your old light globes through special recycling programs, you can make sure the elements and materials are separated safely and recycled.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY LIGHT GLOBES WHEN I RECYCLE THEM?
The small amount of mercury found in many types of light globes can be recovered and used again. Recycling fluorescent household globes can also recover other valuable materials like ceramic, glass, aluminium and phosphor that are used in products like fertilizer, aluminium cans and insulation batts.
Incandescent globes and halogens light globes are made from low-value materials which makes recycling them difficult. They are, however, safe to throw away in your garbage bin because they are non-toxic. Like all glass materials, wrap the globes in paper before you put them in the garbage bin.