Lightbulb in the trash? Dispose of old lamps properly

Even light bulbs and bulbs are wearing parts and must be renewed if necessary. Where to dispose of old light bulbs and bulbs, and whether you can just put them in the trash, you will learn in detail in this post.

Fine for incorrect disposal

When disposing of old bulbs, you should always be careful. A wrong disposal can lead to a fine of up to € 400, even for a single filament, and a single case can even be fined up to € 1,000.

You should therefore always pay attention to which lamps you can dispose of where. Basically, you should separate according to the type of light source:

  • Incandescent and halogen lamps
  • Energy saving lamps
  • LEDs
  • fluorescent tubes

Proper disposal of incandescent and halogen lamps

A light bulb and halogen lamps may be disposed of in your household waste. There are no problems with these two lamp types. However, you are not allowed to throw them in the Altglascontainer, it is forbidden.

The reason lies in the different type of glass compared to bottle glass. The glass of the lamps has a different melting point than usual glass bottles. Even a few with inserted bulbs make afterwards in glass recycling already significant problems. So you should not do that.

Energy saving lamps

If you dispose of energy-saving bulbs in household waste, you have to expect high fines. Energy-saving lamps contain mercury, which is highly toxic and could possibly reach the groundwater and soil if disposed of with household waste.

It is essential that you dispose of energy-saving lamps professionally, which means bringing them to the recycling center. In other places, these lamps must not be disposed of.


LEDs are highly complex electronic components that can be largely recycled. Since this makes ecological sense, you should always bring LEDs to a recycling center. In any case, before the law, they are also considered as "old electrical appliances" - that is to say they should go to the recycling center for that reason.

fluorescent tubes

Under no circumstances should you also dispose fluorescent bulbs in the household waste; they also contain highly toxic mercury. The same specifications apply here as with energy-saving lamps.

Tips & Tricks

When energy-saving lamps have broken, you must be extremely careful. Carefully sweep up all splinters, ventilate the room thoroughly and also bring the broken pieces as airtight as possible to a recycling center.

Video Board: How to Dispose of Old Lightbulbs