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What and where to recycle

What sort of lightbulbs do we recycle?

The bulbs which we recycle are commonly known “Energy Saving Bulbs”?

What are they? There are so many described as “Energy Saving”!

There are Fluorescent or Gas Discharge and LED types.


Fluorescent or Gas Discharge: These Bulbs are the common strip light type commonly found in kitchens, garages, sheds etc, also the stick and spiral type that you put into the normal type of bulb holder on the ceiling or table lamp. Check the packaging if you are not sure as we know the design has been changing to make them more decorative. They contain a fluorescent material and a tiny amount of Mercury both of which are harmful to the environment and you, this is why we go to lengths to recycle them safely.


 Image containing fluorescent bulbs


LED: The other bulb we recycle which is becoming much more common now is the LED type. They take on many forms and are becoming very common in the inset ceiling light bulb as well as for the standard bulb holders. We do not need to send these away with the other bulbs as they are basically a piece of electronic equipment, so pop them in the waste electrical bags at the recycling centres please along with the other WEEE.


Image containing various LED bulbs


Where can I do this? There are facilities for the recycling at Hatston, Garson, Bossack, Cursiter and St Margaret’s Hope HWRC’s, check in advance for opening hours Household Waste Recycling Centre (


All other bulbs: So, we come to the last type of bulb, the “old fashioned” type and the halogen ones. We do not recycle these here in Orkney and our Waste processors South are not keen on them either. The Glass is too thin for the recycling here in Orkney, the bulb is made up of multiple substances in the cap and so they become a problem to recycle. Our advice is to discard them with your domestic waste for the incineration in Shetland, preferably at the Amenity sites to avoid breakage and potential injury at the kerbside collection.


Image containing various bulbs meant for waste


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