Compact fluorescent lighting | Brisbane City Council

Compact fluorescent lighting

Little girl concerned about how to dispose of lightIf you change from traditional (incandescent) light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) and fluorescent tubes you will reduce your:

  • energy bills
  • greenhouse gas emissions

When you unwrap, install or replace a CFL bulb you need to hold it by its base as it's made of glass and can break if dropped or handled roughly.


You can recycle CFL at all Council resource recovery centres any day of the year, or at a household hazardous waste free drop off day. Alternatively businesses can have their CFL collected and recycled by private waste companies.


You can dispose of your CFL or fluorescent tube in your refuse bin. It must be wrapped tightly in newspaper or put in the original box.


If you break a CFL (which has mercury) you must:

  • turn off ceiling fans and air conditioning units
  • put on a dust mask and use a utensil to collect broken glass and powder and put them in a plastic bag
  • wipe the area with a damp paper towel and put the paper towel in the plastic bag and seal it
  • avoid leaving any bulb fragments or clean up materials indoors
  • ventilate the room

Do not use a vacuum to clean up as this can disperse the mercury.

22 March 2019