Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy.

Energy saving light bulbs end up in the bin

Only a quarter recycled last used low energy bulb

A low energy lightbulb

Switch your home’s lights to energy saving light bulbs

68% of consumers threw their last used energy saving light bulb in the bin rather than recycling it, according to a new survey conducted by Which?.

Due to the small amount of mercury contained in compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), energy saving light bulbs should be disposed of safely and not thrown away with household rubbish.

But our survey of more than 1,000 members of the public in November 2009 found that just 25% recycled their last used and 54% said they would throw the next energy saving bulb that stopped working in the bin.

Light bulbs phased out

Traditional incandescent light bulbs are being phased out between now and 2012 in favour of as part of an EU initiative to reduce domestic energy use.

Which? light bulbs expert Katie Waller said: ‘It’s clear that too many people are still unaware of the importance of recycling CFLs. With the phase out of incandescent light bulb varieties, more consumers are switching to energy savers, so it’s imperative that everyone knows how and where to dispose of them safely.’

For more information on buying, using and disposing energy saving light bulbs, and for information on the EU phase out of incandescent bulbs see our expert guide to light bulbs.

Energy saving light bulbs

Our review of energy saving bulbs reveals the Best Buys that will light up your home and save you money.

Used energy saving light bulbs can be disposed of at recycling points around the country – you can also hand them in at Ikea and Currys. Sainsbury’s also plans to have a light bulb recycling scheme in 200 stores by the end of January.

Which? News RSS and Twitter feeds

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste https://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml into your newsreader. Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to RSS news feeds.

You can also follow WhichNews on Twitter for all the latest consumer news, or follow WhichTech for technology updates.

Back to top