Because CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, EPA recommends that consumers take advantage of available local recycling options for CFLs. Consumers can contact their local municipal solid waste agency directly, or go to www.earth911.org or epa.gov/bulbrecycling to identify local recycling options.
The Home Depot and IKEA stores take back used, unbroken CFLs for free. Bring the CFLs to the returns desk. EPA is working with CFL manufacturers and major U.S. retailers to further expand recycling and disposal options.
If your state or local environmental regulatory agency permits you to put used or broken CFLs in the garbage, seal the bulb in two plastic bags and put it into the outside trash, or other protected outside location, for the next normal trash collection. Never send a fluorescent light bulb or any other mercury-containing product to an incinerator.
ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs have a 2 year warranty. Here's what to do if your bulb has failed within the warranty period.
CFL and Mercury Fact Sheet (PDF, 78 KB)