How to Dispose of a TV Lamp

by Finn McCuhil
Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Lamps used in projection televisions contain mercury. Mercury, even in small amounts, is considered a hazardous waste product. Consider recycling as the best solution when disposing of your used lamp. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website, California, Maine, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Vermont and Massachusetts ban lamps containing mercury from disposal in landfills. Take the extra time to responsibly dispose of these potentially hazardous items when you replace the lamp in your television.

Step 1

Seal the bulb in a plastic bag. Place the bag containing the bulb in a safe location where it is unlikely to get broken. Even small amounts of mercury inside the home can pose a health hazard. Sealing the bulb in plastic reduces the risk of leakage if it is accidentally broken.

Step 2

Contact the bulb's manufacturer. Many manufacturers offer free mail-back service and will send you free packaging material to protect the bulb during shipment.

Find a recycling center. Many national home improvement and hardware chains offer on-site recycling drop-off locations for lamps that contain mercury. Visit the EPA's compact fluorescent light bulb recycling site if you cannot find a nearby location.


  • Ask for a recycling kit when you purchase a replacement bulb. Keep the kit and the new bulb together to make the replacement and recycling process simpler.
  • In some states and municipalities, it is legal to dispose of lamps containing mercury in landfills. If this is the only option open to you, seal the bulb in a plastic bag before disposal.


Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

About the Author

Finn McCuhil is a freelance writer based in Northern Michigan. He worked as a reporter and columnist in South Florida before becoming fascinated with computers. After studying programming at University of South Florida, he spent more than 20 years heading up IT departments at three tier-one automotive suppliers. He now builds wooden boats in the north woods.

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