Compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs have become recognized as a preferred alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. CFLs use less power and last substantially longer than comparable incandescent bulbs. However, CFLs contain a small amount of mercury vapor (which, in conjunction with a phosphor coating, enables the electrical current to produce light). Although the amount of mercury is very small, it is considered hazardous.
To dispose of a CFL, double bag the bulb, place it in a small box or wrap the bag in bubble wrap to cushion the bulb. Then, place the wrapped CFL in one of the green buckets around campus designated for electronic waste and other marginally hazardous items. Click here for a list of bucket locations:
If you break a CFL by mistake:
- Ventilate the immediate area for at least 15 minutes
- Wear gloves and sweep up the pieces of the broken bulb without touching them
- Use tape to pick up any remaining pieces
- Double bag all spill cleanup materials
- Place the bag in one of the receptacles referenced above
As with other hazardous materials releases, if you do not feel comfortable performing the cleanup yourself, please contact EH&S at: 725-9999.
For other available disposal alternatives or other information, please contact Chris Craig at EH&S: 723-0654.
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