When light bulbs reach the end of the their lifespan, it is important to upgrade to a more efficient bulb and dispose of the old one correctly. Inefficient incandescent light bulbs are being phased out and should be replaced with an LED or compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). CFLs, fluorescent tubes and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps contain mercury and should be handled appropriately. A voluntary partnership between government and industry, called Fluoro-Cycle, is being developed to increase recycling of mercury containing lamps. Currently, commercial recyclers provide services to recycle large volumes while community facilities can often handle smaller scale lamp recycling.
Fluorescent light globes are the largest source of mercury contamination in municipal landfills. If recycled, however, mercury and other components can be safely recovered and reused to make valuable products.
Halogen lamps produce light as by product of heat and are inefficient lighting devices particularly for illuminating large spaces. Halogens are being partially phased out by the Australian Government and should be replaced with more efficient LED or compact fluorescent lamps.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps contain a small amount of toxic mercury. If disposed of in landfill this mercury may cause environmental contamination. Instead HID lamps should be recycled to recover mercury and other valuable resources for use in new products.
Incandescent light bulbs are inefficient and are being phased out by the Australia Government. Replacing incandescent bulbs can reduce energy and emission outputs and provide cost savings. They should be replaced with more efficient alternatives and then safely disposed.
LED Lights are energy-efficient and free from hazardous materials. They can have an even lower environmental footprint if recycled.