Guide to Recyclables – Lighting

You should recycle CFLs, fluorescent bulbs and other bulbs rather than throwing them in the regular household trash.

Why Recycle

  • CFLs contain mercury which will break and be released into the environment when thrown in the trash.  For more information about CFLs and mercury see the EPA page What Are the Connections between Mercury and CFLs.  Statistics show that by recycling, almost recycling 99.98% of the mercury used in the lamp is recovered.
  • All of the other components of a fluorescent bulb are reused when recycled.  This includes the glass, the metals, and just about everything else.
  • It is required in Mercer County.
  • With the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007, manufacturers began switching to more energy efficient lighting technologies.   CFLs and LED lights are simply becoming more prevalent as the less energy efficient incandescent bulbs are phased out.

Which Bulbs to Recycle

  • CFLs
  • Fluorescent bulbs include:
    • Linear, U-tube and circline fluorescent tubes
    • Bug zappers
    • Tanning bulbs
    • Black lights
    • Germicidal bulbs
    • High output bulbs, and
    • Cold-cathode fluorescent bulbs.

    High intensity discharge bulbs:

    • Metal halide
    • Ceramic metal halide
    • High pressure sodium, and mercury vapor.

    Mercury short-arc bulbs; and Neon bulbs.

How to Recycle

Ewing Township provides a Waste Drop Off Convenience Center for Ewing homeowners that accepts fluorescent and CFL bulbs for recycling.  These materials are sorted by Township staff and 60%-80% are recycled using the services at Mercer Group Recycling!

Location: 136 Scotch Road, Ewing
Phone: 609-882-3382
Hours: Mon – Fri 7am-4pm | Sat 7am-3:30pm
Requirements: Proof of Ewing residency, which must be a Valid NJ Driver License, a current tax bill or a utility bill is required.  The township Public Works Department provides more information at

Mercer County Improvement Authority
The MCIA will accept fluorescent and CFL bulbs at their Hazardous Waste Disposal Days that are held three times each year.   See their Household Hazardous Waste and E-Waste page which will contain a link to the dates for each year.  Drop off is at:

The John T. Dempster Fire School / Bakers Basin
Lawrence Station Rd
Lawrence Twp, NJ 08648
Phone: 609-278-8086

*limited to Mercer County residents | Proof of residency is required.

3504 Brunswick Pike
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: 609-720-9008
Hours: Mon-Sat 6 Am – 9 Pm | Sun 8 Am – 7 Pm

All Lowes stores also participate in a free CFL/fluorescent bulb recycling program for these bulbs that you cannot include in your curbside pickup.    There is a collection bin at the front of each store.  Place the bulb in one of the plastic bags provided and seal before dropping it into the bin.

Home Depot
1621 N Olden Ave
Ewing Township, NJ 08638
Phone: 609-393-3697
Hours Mon-Sat: 6:00am – 9:00pm | Sun: 8:00am – 7:00pm

All Home Depot  stores accept CFL/fluorescent bulbs for free recycling through their Eco-Options program.  There is an orange collection bin at the front of each store.  Place the bulb in one of the plastic bags provided and seal before dropping it into the orange box provided.

How to Clean Up Broken Bulbs

Because mercury vapor is released into your home environment when a bulb is broken it is important that you take special precautions during the clean up.  See Cleaning Up a Broken CFL from the EPA which explains proper steps for clean up of broken mercury containing bulbs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: