How to Dispose of Light Bulbs and Batteries

October 24th, 2011 by

These instructions are specific to Springfield residents...kind of.

I just had a very nice talk with a woman at Springfield Solid Waste and Management about how to dispose of light bulbs containing mercury and batteries. You see, I’ve been cleaning like a mad woman and I finally got around to taking care of things I kinda.. just let go. Like light bulbs for example. Which, by the way, are very confusing to purchase. It took three of us (Christiano, myself and the kind woman at Lowes) probably 30+ minutes to find everything we needed. Different base types, wattage, colors, eco this, eco that, natural light, soft light… ohmygosh. It was a lot of options. And they’re expensive (we stayed away from halogens). So now that I have all these newly lit rooms, I also have a ton of bulbs that I can’t just throw in the trash….

The Disposing Dish:

Light Bulbs (containing mercury)

These can be taken to Lowes or Home Depot. You can also take other hazardous materials (pesticides or spray cans) there too. She said by appointment only, so naturally I called to make an appointment at Lowes and the woman said there are drop boxes (no appointment necessary) in the front of the store for recycling. I’m not 100% sure on exactly what bins are there, but I know if you can’t find a bin for what you need, the return desk can help you.


I was surprised to find out that if your batteries were made before after 1990 they should be perfectly safe to throw in the regular trash. Really? I said. Of course, she said yes again and then told me if I still didn’t feel comfortable doing that, I can recycle them at (here’s where the Springfield specific part comes in) Batteries Plus or the Computer Recycling Center.

I’m still not sure how I ended up with one-time use batteries in my house anyways. They’re still lingering in a few of the electrical items, I guess. I really like rechargable batteries. They just make sense, but those will die eventually too. They’re a must-have for digital cameras that use AA. They last so much longer!

I found this page useful, if you’re interested.

I’m off to do recycling, drop off donations and drink coffee!

Have a great Monday!


2 Responses to How to Dispose of Light Bulbs and Batteries

  1. A says:

    Not to be an environmental geek, but your post says batteries “made BEFORE 1990″ should be safe to throw in the trash. I believe you meant “made AFTER 1990.” Here’s a great reference:

    Also, if you still have batteries made before 1990 (20+ years), you may have bigger problems than recycling! :)

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