What to do when a compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL) breaks or burns out

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) contain small traces of mercury.  Mercury is also commonly found in thermometers, thermostats, and button cell batteries.

A CFL that has burned out needs to be recycled to prevent the release of mercury into the environment.  CFLs should not be discarded in the trash. 

If a CFL breaks, care must be exercised in the clean-up process to minimize exposure to mercury.   

Visit the Efficiency Vermont web site to learn more about mercury and energy-efficient lighting including recycling and proper clean-up procedures.