Why recycle fluorescent lights?
Fluorescent lights include tubes and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). They are great energy savers and are long‐lasting. Over their lifespan they can save you a lot of money. However, they do contain small amounts of toxic mercury that can be harmful to humans and the environment. With the phasing out of incandescent light globes there will be increasing numbers of fluorescent tubes and CFLs used in households and businesses. Over time these will eventually make their way into the waste stream resulting in a greater volume of mercury, with a potentially bigger impact on the environment. In order to protect the environment it is important to ensure that fluorescent lights are disposed of correctly and not placed in household bins.
Do not place fluorescent tubes or cfls in your general rubbish bin
If you do the mercury, a toxic chemical, could find its way into the environment.
Many councils, including those of the MRC, use the waste in these bins as feedstock for Resource Recovery Facilities (RRFs). Fluorescent lights in these bins could cause contamination of the compost produced.
Do not place fluorescent tubes or Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL's) in your green or yellow bins.
Although the lights can be recycled they cannot be processed at the facility which deals with the items in yellow top bins. If the fluorescent tubes or CFLs are placed in these bins they will contaminate the recycling process and will end up in landfill.
Benefits of recycling fluorescents
How are the fluorescent lights recycled?
- Reduces emissions of mercury into the environment.
- Recovers resources such as glass, aluminium, mercury and phosphorous.
Fluorescent tubes and CFLs are safely recycled in a process that crushes and separates the materials and importantly captures the mercury. The materials that make up the fluorescent lighting are transformed into clean, usable products.
What are the recycled fluorescent lights made into?
Glass: Glass wool to make insulation batts for home and commercial use.
Aluminium: Cast into ingots for re‐use in aluminium products, such as window frames.
Mercury: Used in dentistry, as amalgam fillings. Phosphor powder Used in the manufacture of fertilizer products.
You can drop your old fluorescent lighting at a number of community drop-off points in the Perth Metropolitan area. Click here for a list of these locations.
Fluorescent tubes or CFL's dropped off at Tamala Park are recycled by Toxfree.
The company Toxfree is contracted by the MRC through the HHW program to recycle fluorescent tubes or CFL's. Click here to find out more.