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Disposing of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs are effective to reduce energy use at home and they also prevent greenhouse gas emissions. CFL's use up to 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.

Mercury Use
CFL bulbs do contain a very small amount of mercury within the glass tubing (an average of 5 milligrams - about the amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen). No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact or in use. To compare, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury. It would take 100 CFL bulbs to equal that amount. Even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, using them contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular incandescent bulbs. That's because they use less electricity, and coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of mercury emissions in the air.

When a Flourescent Bulb Breaks
If a CFL bulb breaks you should open the window in the room and leave the room for at least 15 minutes. While wearing rubber gloves, carefully scrape up the bulb fragments with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed bag. Take the bag to the hazardous waste item drop-off listed below.

Hazardous Waste Drop Off
When the bulb burns out or breaks residents can take the bulb to the local household hazardous waste recycling location. Kane County offers a one day drop-off event for all household hazardous waste items located at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles. View the Kane County Recycles page.