How to Responsibly Dispose of Incandescent Light Bulbs

A lightbulb, lamp, and ceiling fan in a room.

When it comes to disposing of incandescent light bulbs, it's important to handle them with care due to the risk of breakage. Incandescent light bulbs are not hazardous waste, but they should not be thrown in the regular trash because the glass can shatter and pose a safety risk.

Here are a few options for responsibly disposing of incandescent light bulbs:

  • Check with your local recycling center or waste management facility to see if they accept incandescent bulbs. Some facilities may have specific drop-off locations or events for light bulb recycling.
  • If your area does not have a recycling program for incandescent bulbs, wrap the bulb in a plastic bag and place it in a sturdy trash bag. Label the bag as BROKEN GLASS or INCANDESCENT BULB to alert waste management workers to the contents.
  • Consider upgrading to energy-efficient LED or CFL bulbs, which last longer and use less electricity. LED and CFL bulbs can typically be recycled and often have dedicated recycling programs.
  • If your incandescent light bulb is still in good working condition, consider donating it to a local charity, shelter, or community organization that may have a use for it.