Light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs have revolutionized the world of lighting, as they are very energy efficient thanks to the technology used and they perform much better compared to traditional light. They are also environmentally friendly. Many people have switched to LED because of their performance, improving their environmental footprint.
The question is, can LED light bulbs be recycled? Yes, LED light can be recycled just like other lighting waste. However, to reap the benefits of LED, they must be disposed of properly because LED is made of non-renewable materials such as glass and aluminum that can be recovered by the recycling process and reused in the production of new products.
Avoid throwing your LED light bulb in the household recycling bin as this can contaminate your recycling. If you have a broken light bulb, wrap it up and throw it in the trash can.
In addition, a LED bulb for home or car use has a logo that shows the sign of the trash can, which means that you should not throw away the product at the end of its life, but you can recycle it for other purposes.
Advantages Of Recycling Lighting
Every day, many millions of lamps, including LED, are discarded in various places around the world. This contributes to pollution that brings a lot of problems to our environment, all of which can be avoided by recycling. Let us look at the five main benefits of recycling.
1. Harmful Materials In The Environment Can Be Avoided
One of the biggest hazards in lighting waste is mercury, which is found in tubes, vapor lamps, and CFLs. When this mercury is disposed of, it can pollute the environment, and some of it washes into the ocean where it turns into highly toxic substances that can end up in the fish we eat.
Although LED light does not contain mercury, it does contain other hazardous substances such as lead, copper, and nickel, which can also be harmful. Recycling can be a solution to these problems.
2. You Can Recover Non-Renewable Resources
By recycling, you can recover non-renewable resources such as glass, aluminum, plastic, steel, lead, mercury, and copper that can be reused to make products.
Given the world’s hunger for new, innovative products, recycling will help recover materials that can be used to make new products, such as electronic devices.
3. Commit To Responsible Recycling
All environmental stakeholders pay attention to how the companies they deal with treat the environment, and recycling is one of the activities that companies can use to demonstrate their environmental responsibility within a community.
So, many companies need to lead by example and show how they protect the environment, and they need to show this proof to the community.
4. Recycling Is Very Easy
Many communities have provided a special garbage can where you can put all the hazardous waste from the light for recycling.
This has been facilitated by the companies that collect the waste and recover the materials to make other products. Technological progress has also facilitated recycling and the production of raw materials to produce other products, such as electronic products.
5. Save Your Company Money
By recycling lighting, you can save your company money by reducing today’s disposal costs to fewer equipment costs in the future.
The question is how will LED light be recycled?
As we know, LED lighting fixture does not contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, and nickel.
Although it can be recycled from components material that contain electronics such as transformers or semiconductors and diodes like other materials that contain electronic components.
According to scientific LED light has been made of glass, metal, and other various materials for which their percentage are 86%, 9%, and 5% respectively.
Whereas the metal contained in the LED light bulb are very useful for recycling and material that contain gallium and indium or a few rare elements that you can find only in the crust.
In general, there is no specific program for recycling a LED light bulb, not now, but maybe in the future. But in most European countries there is a commission that takes care of the disposal of electrical appliances.
So, if you want to throw away an old LED light, just check with the commission in your area to find out the requirements. There are also some options for recycling, such as at local recycling centers and larger retail stores.
Most people just throw away an old light bulb after use without separating it into toxic and non-toxic bulbs, which is very dangerous for humans.
So, after using LED light first thing, you should check whether the item is recyclable or not because some of them are made of glass and it can easily break and tear the garbage bag and a damaged bulb could expose gas like nitrogen, argon, or helium which are dangerous.
What To Consider When Recycling The LED Light Bulbs?
- Turn off the already spoiled/burned bulb before removing it from the socket or holder. In this way, you will avoid the risk of electric shock, since at this time the current flows into the holder.
- Those who collect old LED light bulbs will ask you to separate glass and metal because glass is easy to break and can tear the garbage bag. Separation can protect the workers who collect the items, although this will not always be the case, a precaution is better than the risk that can arise.
- When recycling strings of lights, remove all strings of lights from where they hung on.
Where Can You Recycle LED Light Bulbs?
The place where there is a big box store usually accepts recycle LED lights. Places like Home Depot, Lowes, and IKEA accept items such as CFLs. At these places, you can drop off your old LED light bulbs to be recycled. For more information, you can contact your local store for more details on how to drop off your old light bulbs.
Also, to prevent unnecessary waste in the environment, most community safety agencies offer recycling of LED light bulbs on specific days or at a specific location that is easily accessible.
There is also a battery plus store that accepts old light bulbs for recycling, because as we know LED is made of both metal and glass, so they can use the metal for other purposes, but you should know that they charge a certain fee.
And finally, LED holiday string lights (for example, the string of lights used for Christmas) can also be recycled in the big stores or companies that deal with Christmas lights.
The LED string of lights can be recycled and disposed of in the trash can, but before you throw it in the trash can, check with your community to see if the LED string of lights can be recycled and where and when it can be dropped off. If your municipality will not accept the LED light, please check with your local recycling center to see if there is another option.