Have you ever had a broken compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) and wondered how to properly dispose of it? You're not alone! Breaking a fluorescent light bulb is similar to breaking a thermometer, thermostat, or any other instrument containing elemental mercury. Once the light bulb has been broken, it is impossible to see the mercury. This is very dangerous; however, according to the DEQ, you can take the following steps to protect yourself:
- Scoop up the glass and all other pieces of the broken light bulb wearing gloves to protect against cuts.
- Put all pieces of the broken bulb in a rigid container such as an old paint can. Make sure to seal this container and remove it from your living area.
- Air out the room where the light bulb was broken for 12-24 hours.
- Take the container to a hazardous waste collection center that accepts elemental mercury. To find out where to take it, call us at (503) 526 2665.