Recycling LED Light Bulbs and Cardboard Packaging
Sunco LED bulbs do not contain mercury, a poisonous heavy metal, unlike CFL bulbs and other traditional bulbs. That means you can dispose of LED bulbs with ease in the trash. However, since our LED light bulbs contain recyclable components, we recommend you recycle them instead. Your curbside recycling service or solid waste management company will likely provide a list on their website about which materials are accepted for recycling.
If LEDs are not accepted in your regular disposal collection, you should be able to use local city resources or search online to discover recycling facilities near your business or in your neighborhood, especially one that specializes in recycling consumer electronics. Recyclers tend to lump light bulbs under that classification.
If your local trash collection does not include recycling (many rural areas do not), there are some recycling companies that can help you recycle.
- NEMA maintains an extensive resource with recycling on LampRecycle.org. You can also review regulations for commercial or residential lighting listed by state.
- Assess your home and start saving with the helpful resources on Energy Star’s website.
For those who need to recycle a lot of bulbs or fluorescent tubes at once, many of these companies offer bulk recycling via mail:
- Bulb Cycle – Bulk recycling of T8 LED Tubes
- Easypak – Search their nationwide partnership of recycling facilities
- LampMaster – LED Bulb Recycling (also offers ballast recycling)
- Ecolights – Ballast recycling
- Everlights – Bulk fluorescent recycling
- Earth911- Recycling search
- Veolia RecyclePaks – Bulk recycling (also offers ballast recycling)
NOTE: Sunco Lighting does not endorse, recommend, certify, authorize, or approve of the companies or services above. Some costs may be associated with these services. Links are provided as a convenience.
The EPA maintains a list of states with strict regulations. You may want to examine their site, if you are recycling CFLs or other outdated bulbs that contain mercury and replacing them with LEDs.
Per the EPA, if you can’t recycle, and you are able to dispose of bulbs in your household waste, seal any used or broken CFL bulbs in a plastic bag before depositing in your trash collection bin.
Handling Broken LED Bulbs
While LED bulbs are designed to have a longer lifetime than traditional glass bulbs and do not contain mercury, there is still the chance that the plastic housing could break under extreme circumstances. Are there still little pieces? Use duck tape or another form of sticky tape to pick up the pieces left behind by the broom. Alternatively, a vacuum hose can easily pick up small pieces on smooth or carpeted surfaces.
Plastic shards can be sharp. Be sure to wear protective gloves and use a broom when cleaning up.
That procedure is pretty easy compared to what you have to do to clean up a broken CFL, per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Aren’t you glad you decided to switch to LED light bulbs? We are, too!
Recycling Sunco LED Bulbs
Sunco cardboard light bulb packaging is fully recyclable.
If your bulbs are not broken, you can insert the LED bulbs inside the original Sunco packaging then place it in a recycle bin. If you already recycled your shipment packaging any cardboard box will do.
Why Should You Recycle Cardboard?
Through cardboard recycling you can:
- Cardboard will recycle up to seven times before the fibers are too short. This will reduce the number of trees used to create packaging. It takes about 17 trees to make a ton of cardboard.
- Each ton of recycled cardboard saves about 7,000 gallons of water when compared to creating wood pulp from virgin trees.
Reduce CO2 Emissions
- While the precise impact is difficult to pinpoint, if the 17 virgin trees mentioned above were alive to absorb and store carbon dioxide each year (in a process known as carbon sequestration), then approximately 250lb of C02 would be sequestered each year.
- The alternate of burning that same cardboard – instead of recycling it – would emit 1500lb of C02.
- In addition, it takes 75% of the energy to recycle cardboard as it does to create new cardboard from raw materials.
Save Landfill Space
- Did you know that recycling that one ton of cardboard is cheaper than placing it in a landfill? Also, one ton of cardboard takes up about 3 to 9 cubic yards of space in a landfill, depending on who you reference. All that cardboard takes decades to break down.
Even though manufacturers use lighter cardboard now, and companies like Sunco revise our packaging to conserve cardboard, when you trash the cardboard instead of recycling it, the impact adds up over time. That’s why we need you to make a difference by recycling your LED light bulbs and cardboard packaging.
With all the positive impacts you can make to save trees, water, and reduce CO2 emissions when recycling cardboard, there really is no reason not to reuse cardboard and recycle it when you can.
Recycling makes a difference. Join Sunco and be a part of it.