Household Waste Guide

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Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Fluorescent light bulbs, including compact fluorescent light bulbs, contain a small amount of mercury.  Mercury is essential for most energy-efficient lamps.  The amount of mercury in compact fluorescent bulb glass tubing is small - about 4 mg. However, every product containing mercury should be handled with care.  Exposure to mercury, a toxic metal, can affect our brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver, causing symptoms such as trembling hands, memory loss and difficulty moving.

As energy-efficient lighting becomes more popular, it is important to dispose of the products safely and responsibly.  Mercury is released into our environment when products with mercury are broken, disposed of improperly or incinerated.

Incandescent, halogen and most other light bulbs contain no mercury and therefore may be placed in your trash.


Kent County Household Hazardous Waste Program, (616) 336-2570 or 1-888-217-2850
Business, farm and school wastes are not accepted. Operates 4 centers for disposal of household hazardous waste, including fluorescent lamps.  Appointment required. 

Home Depot
Has begun a take-back program for compact fluorescent bulbs from residential use. Contact your local Home Depot store for details on their acceptance policy

Valley City Environmental, (616) 235-1500
1040 Market Avenue SW, Grand Rapids
Accepts hazardous materials, including fluorescent lamps, and electronics from businesses, farms and schools.  Fee charged.

Waste Management, Inc.
Waste Management, Inc. has launched an online service for the disposal of household waste, including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), batteries, and eventually other household electronics.

Lowell Light & Power (616) 897-8402
127 N Broadway, Lowell
Accepts compact fluorescent bulbs only.