Did you know: You can recycle your old light bulbs for free

You’ve replaced the light bulb but what do you do with the old one? It’s easy. Instead of throwing it in the bin and adding to landfill simply drop of the used globes at the checkout counter of any Banner Hardware, Mitre 10 or True Value hardware stores. These stores are part of the Green Industries SA BackLight Household Light Globe Recycling Programme.

The initiative is close to having recycled nearly 200,000 light globes. This includes compact fluorescent globes, fluorescent tubes, incandescent globes and halogen globes and tubes.  

The aluminium and mercury from the globes are used to make new light globes, the phosphor powder into fertiliser, and the glass is reused for a number of other glass products.

If you’ve broken a compact fluorescent globe be careful. Full clean up instructions are
provided at www.zerowaste.sa.gov.au but in summary: 

  • Open nearby windows and doors to allow the room to ventilate for 15 minutes before cleaning up the broke lamp.  
  • Do not leave on any air conditioning or heating equipment which could recirculate mercury vapours back into the room.  
  • Use disposal rubber globes rather than bare hands. 
  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner or broom on hard surfaces because this can spread the contents of the lamp and contaminate the clear. Instead scoop up broken material (e.g. using stiff paper or cardboard) – if possible – into a glass container with a metal lid. 
  • Use a disposable brush to carefully sweep up the pieces, and sticky tape and/or a damp cloth to wipe up any remaining glass fragments and/or powders.  
  • Place the broken globe and clean up materials to an outside rubbish bin (preferably a sealed one) as soon as possible.