How to sort your used light bulbs correctly

If you are in the habit of throwing your light bulbs in the bin with the rest of your waste - perhaps due to a lack of knowledge about the damage light bulbs can cause - read here. Correct disposal of light bulbs has a great impact on the environment. According to the Danish Environmental Agency approx. 131 tons of light bulbs containing mercury end up in the wrong bins, and therefore some light bulbs must be handed in as hazardous waste. Here we provide a clear overview of how to get rid of your light bulbs correctly.


Sort your light bulbs for the environment

One of the big reasons why you shouldn't throw light bulbs in the trash is the mercury they contain. Mercury has consequences for the environment, especially if it is thrown into an ordinary garbage can. A light bulb will emit small amounts of mercury from an ordinary rubbish bin, which will be able to spread and accumulate in the food chain. This can have serious consequences - both in relation to the environment and our health. Therefore, it cannot be said enough: You must ensure that you dispose of your light bulbs correctly. Both for the sake of the environment, but also for your own.


Do not throw light bulbs in the garbage with your residual waste

First, it's important that you don't just throw all your old light bulbs in a normal bin. However, there are two exceptions. Two types of light bulb that you can safely throw in the regular waste bin:

  • Incandescent light bulb
  • Halogen light bulbs

You just have to make sure to wrap these securely, so they don't cut a hole in the bag.

If you throw the remaining light bulbs into the bin, the bulbs will not be able to be recycled. 98% of light bulbs can be recycled if they are sorted properly in accordance with the regulations in the area. That is why it is important that you look at your light bulb before you throw it in the bin. If the bulb is neither a halogen nor an incandescent bulb, you must dispose the light bulb in another way. There are many reasons for this. Both fluorescent tubes and an energy-saving light bulb contain, for example, mercury. No need to pollute when this can be easily fixed.


Waste sorting depends on the type of bulb

How do you know which light bulbs should be recycled? We've established that incandescent and halogen light bulbs can be wrapped and tossed in the bin with your residual waste, but what about your other bulbs? Both LED bulbs, energy saving bulbs and fluorescent tubes must be handed in at the recycling site.


LED light bulbs must be handed in because there are several of the components that will most likely be reused. Electronics and various products with electronic components are considered hazardous waste in many municipalities. Therefore, an LED light bulb must not go in an ordinary garbage bin.

Also, energy saving bulbs and fluorescent tubes must be handed in at the recycling site, because they can be recycled and at the same time are also considered hazardous waste. Here, the two light bulbs must each be in their own container, so make sure you familiarize yourself with the signage so that you don't throw the light bulb in the wrong place.

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