Ask G

Ask G: old CFL globes

What do I do with old CFL light globes when they have burnt out?

I am still none the wiser on what to do with CFL light globes when they have burnt out. I don’t have an Ikea store nearby for recycling, which I’ve seen suggested previously. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Rae Dignam.



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Like many waste and recycling considerations, the options available depend on where you live. Fluorescent lamps are collected through some state government hazardous waste programs or directly by the recyclers themselves (such as CMA Ecocycle and Chemsal). All collections are through ‘drop-off’ points. Whatever you do, DON’T put used globes in your household recycling bin as the heat-proof glass of the bulb contaminates the recycling of glass bottles and jars. Try:

NSW: Household Chemical CleanOut

Vic.: Detox Your Home

Vic. Regional: ‘Blinky Bulb’

SA: Zero Waste SA

WA: Zero Waste WA

The national FluoroCycle is in development to collect lamps from businesses and industry and there is
some potential for it to eventually be extended to householders. For householders with no other options, the consensus from the waste management authorities I’ve spoken to is to wrap old bulbs in newspaper and put them in with general rubbish. It’s also worth contacting your local council waste services for their advice.