How to Dispose of a CFL Bulb. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs contain mercury, a hazardous chemical, so it's important that you know how to dispose of them. Follow these steps.
Recycle. Check if there is a local organization or government agency that takes CFL light bulbs. You also can visit earth911.org, or call them at (800) CLEAN-UP, for a list of disposal options. Another option is to contact your local waste management agency, and some stores including IKEA will take used CFLs.
Bag it. If there is no place to recycle your CFL light bulb, seal in a plastic bag and put it in the trash. Don't place a CFL bulb, or anything that contains mercury, in an incinerator.
Pay to get rid of it. Some companies will dispose of CFL light bulbs for a fee, usually somewhere between a quarter and 75 cents per bulb. Look in the Yellow Pages to find a local disposal company.
Sweep, don't vacuum, if a CFL light bulb breaks. Experts say there isn't much danger from the mercury, so just be careful not to cut yourself. Use rubber gloves to collect the shards on stiff paper or cardboard, and put the shards in a sealed plastic bag. You can use sticky tape or damp towels to collect the smaller fragments, then put the towel or tape into the sealed bag. Let the room air out for 15 minutes to remove any lingering mercury vapors. If there isn't a nearby window, use a fan to blow air out of the room.