Florescent Bulb Recycling

Florescent Bulb Recycling

The Department of Environmental Protection encourages the use and recycling of compact fluorescent lamps

Compact fluorescent lamps reduce energy consumption and prevent greenhouse gas emissions.  Since these lamps contain a small amount of mercury that is necessary to produce fluorescent light, the lamps should be recycled at your county's household hazardous waste program.  If a compact fluorescent lamp should accidentally break in your home, follow the cleanup guidelines listed below.

image of a globe compact fluorescent lamp

image of a spiral compact fluorescent lamp


  • Guidelines for Cleaning up Broken Fluorescent Lamps


  • Remediation of Indoor Airborne Mercury Released from Broken Fluorescent Lamps (June 2007).  This peer-reviewed paper models the dynamics of airborne mercury potentially released from a compact fluorescent lamp and a four foot straight fluorescent lamp in the event of breakage in a typical room in a home.  When the broken lamp is cleaned up using DEP's Guidelines for Cleaning up Broken Fluorescent Lamps and a fan is used to increase ventilation through an open window, the room should have the same concentration of mercury as outdoor air and be ready for re-occupancy and normal use within 30 minutes for a broken compact fluorescent and 45 minutes for a broken four foot straight fluorescent lamp.


  • Airborne Mercury in a Room from a Broken Florescent Lamp - An Interactive Model.  This spreadsheet model was constructed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and used to estimate the amount of time it would take for the mercury vapors from a fluorescent lamp broken in a home to clear from a typical room.  See the Department's paper Remediation of Indoor Airborne Mercury Released from Broken Fluorescent Lamps (June 2007).  This interactive model allows you to vary the model inputs, e.g., volume of the room, ambient air mercury concentration, fan flow rate, to evaluate different scenarios than those selected by the Department.