how to destroy fluorescent tubes

How To Destroy Fluorescent Tubes Safely?

If you buy an item via links on this page, we may earn a commission. Our editorial content is not influenced by commissions. Read the full disclosure.

Is there a way to dispose of tube lights safely? We recommend that you destroy it to be totally safe. Here are the steps on how to destroy fluorescent tubes.

While we may know fluorescent tubes as just useful household appliances, many do not know the potential environmental dangers these simple appliances may cause.

You see, fluorescent tubes and other light bulbs contain mercury, which is a chemical that can be quite harmful to the environment if exposed. That’s why we don’t believe it’s a good idea to just dump bulbs in the trash can.

Rather, we prefer to ensure that the fluorescent tubes are totally and properly destroyed with some parts used for recycling. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to destroy fluorescent tubes and how to recycle fluorescent tubes so that you can also do your part for the environment.

how to destroy fluorescent tubes
Light bulbs should be recycled to minimize waste and hazard

Why You Need To Dispose Of Fluorescent Tubes Properly?

As we already mentioned, mercury is dangerous to the environment. When you throw bulbs into the trash bins, chances are that the bulbs will crack either while in the garbage truck or in the dumps. When that happens, you expose the mercury to the earth. Not only will a high volume of mercury cause long term harm to the earth, but also to humans.

Aside from the reason that we gave above, why does it really pay to know how to dispose of fluorescent tubes properly?

We’ll give you a few other reasons to take note of:

Materials Can Be Used

Aside from the bulb itself, the metal base, tungsten, glass, and other parts of the bulb can be reused. It pays to contribute to the cause so that you can further help the environment.

You May Be Prohibited From Disposing Bulbs

There are some municipalities that actually prohibit disposing of bulbs in the trash can. These municipalities usually have separate waste cans for items that can be recycled.

You Can Earn Some Cash

There are even some bulb manufacturers that pay you to give back old bulbs for recycling. This is their way of discouraging people from just disposing of their bulbs.

How To Destroy Fluorescent Tubes Safely

The reasons above are just some of the main ones we’d like to emphasis. In any case, let’s now move on to the “how”.

Here are a few tips on how to properly destroy fluorescent lights:

Get In Touch With a Local Waste Handler

First, you can try to get in touch with the waste collection handlers in your area. If ever they do collect light bulbs or fluorescent tubes, then you don’t really need to worry about properly destroying the bulbs. Just keep them safe until the waste collectors come and hand it over to them.

Get In Touch With Manufacturers Or Retailers

There are a lot of manufacturers or even retailers that do recycling. They usually accept old bulbs and recycle them for you. Again, you won’t need to worry too much about the disposing of your light bulbs and tubes since they will do it for you. You may even get some extra money from giving them your old lights.

Store Your Old Bulbs In The Old Boxes They Came From

Keeping your old bulbs safe from damage can be a bit of a challenge because they’re so fragile. So, the most efficient way to store old bulbs and tubes is in the box they came from. Once you store them in their old boxes, put them away in your storage room and wait for the waste collectors.

Use a Sealable Bag

What happens if the bulb cracks or slightly breaks? In the event of that happening, you need to make sure that the mercury doesn’t get exposed too much. To do this, put the broken bulb pieces in a sealable bag and completely seal it. After that, call your local waste collection agency and ask them what can be done.


Throwing bulbs into the trash can is something that most people do simply because they’re not aware of the repercussions of mercury exposure. That’s why it’s very important to properly educate all homeowners on how to destroy fluorescent tubes the proper way. These steps will teach you how to do just that.

If you haven’t thought about recycling your used light bulbs yet, then start today and also start saving the environment.

Have a good day!

Recommended Reading: