How to Dispose of Halogen Bulbs? A Definitive Guide

There are quite a few types of bulbs and they each come with their own requirements and headaches. For instance, how do you dispose of your bulbs?

Different bulb types are disposed off in different ways. Some should be recycled, some shouldn’t.

We are going to focus entirely on halogen light bulbs and how you should go about disposing them.

No Recycling Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs are not recycled. Just discard them with your regular trash. Note that the same process used to dispose of used halogen bars is also the one you use to get rid of unused halogen bulbs.

You cannot place halogen light bulbs in curbside recycling bins because their heat-resistant glass is not recyclable like other glass types.

It has always been held that halogen is safe to discard in your regular, household trash bin.  It’s believed that tungsten, a substance found in halogen bulbs, is not toxic and it can safely be disposed of in landfills.

For that reason, there are no large-scale recycling programs available for disposing of halogen bulbs. Instead, many organizations advise to simply discard your halogen bulbs in the trash.

If you have the original packaging of your halogen bulb, you can put the light bulb back in it. That is how incandescent bulbs are disposed of – in their original packaging or wrapped in an old paper grocer bag or plastic bag. Do the same for your halogen light bulbs, even though they are typically more durable than the incandescent light bulbs.

Disposal Procedure

When you want to dispose of a halogen light bulb, the first thing you have to do is extract it from the light fixture. Note that halogen bulbs get extremely hot, so don’t touch it while it’s still hot as it might cause burns on your skin. ( about more information then read: Can You Touch Halogen Bulbs? The Science Behind It )

Therefore, ensure the bulb has cooled down before you try to remove it. Remove by pulling gently on the bulb, twisting slightly to release it.

Be very gentle in the way you handle the halogen bulb to prevent dropping it or cracking it by gripping too tightly.

After you have removed it, commence the process of disposing of it. If you have the bulb’s original packaging, find it and put the bulb in it. If you do not, find some newspaper pagers and wrap the bulb in them. You can also use a grocery bag.

Wrapping the bulb thus will ensure it does not shatter easily when you discard it in the trash, and that it is at least covered up so the broken pieces won’t scatter all over the rest of the trash.

Discard your halogen bulb with the rest of your regular trash as there is no recycling program for halogen bulbs. There are no federal or state laws that govern the disposal of halogen light bulbs.

If you are discarding unused halogen bulbs, you will use this same procedure – wrapping it up and then simply disposing of it with your regular trash.

Comparison with Fluorescents and CFLs

When disposing of fluorescents and CFLs, you have to check what your local laws have to say first. You see, these bulbs contain mercury, a toxic substance, so most areas will have laws that prohibit disposing of them in the trash.

You can confirm at the local garbage and recycling center in your area whether disposal of CFLs and fluorescents in the trash is permissible.

Note that in US states such as Minnesota, California, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Washington, and Maine, it is illegal to discard fluorescents and CFLs in the trash.

However, even if your country or state or province does not prohibit such disposal of fluorescents in trash, you should still confirm with your regional or town authorities as there may be laws at that local level.

If it is legal in your area, dispose of them using the same procedure we have explained for halogen bulbs – that is wrapping them in their original packaging or a paper bag before putting them in your regular trash.

Confirm with the local waste authority in your area where the closest drop-off location for discarding such bulbs is located.

You can also check with the store where you bought the bulb or from large retailers like Home Depot and IKEA – they may offer recycling for light bulbs you purchased from them.

Final Verdict

The disposal of halogen bulbs is a straightforward process. Since there are no recycling programs for halogen bulbs, all you have to do is wrap the bulb in its original packaging or in newspapers and discard it with your regular trash. It’s that simple.

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