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Halogen light bulbs last longer and burn brighter. These bulbs are an alternative to conventional light bulbs and are a more efficient option. But what exactly is a halogen light bulb and how can you dispose of it correctly to ensure no hazardous waste leaks out? Is there a specific method of disposal for unused halogen bulbs?
A halogen light bulb uses tungsten filament just like an incandescent light bulb does. The difference between a halogen light and a regular incandescent one is that halogen contains halogen gas and a regular bulb does not. When the halogen gas heats, it will combine with the vapor from the tungsten and redeposit on the bulb filament to be used again, recycling itself. Because of this energy recycling process, a halogen light bulb will last up to 2 to 3 times longer than conventional light bulbs.
To dispose of a halogen light bulb, you will first need to remove it from the light fixture. Make sure that the bulb is cooled before touching it with your bare hands. Pull gently on the bulb to remove it. In some cases, you may have to twist it slightly to release it. Be sure to handle the halogen bulb gently so it will not drop or crack.
Once you get the bulb out, you can proceed to dispose of it. Put the used bulb in it’s original packaging, or in the packaging of the new bulb. You can also use newspaper or magazine pages to wrap up the bulb to prevent it from shattering when you throw it out. Halogen bulbs are not to be recycled and can be thrown out with your regular rubbish collection. Diposal of unused halogen bulbs is the same as it is for used bulbs — simply make sure the bulb is wrapped and dispose of with the regular trash.
No federal or state laws govern how halogen light bulbs are to be disposed of. In contrast, if you use compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, you do have to recycle your light bulbs. These bulbs contain mercury and should not go into an incinerator. CFLs are considered hazardous and should be treated as such. They should not be thrown out with your regular trash. If you do use CFLs, you should check with local waste management companies about how to go about disposing of your light bulbs. Also, some retail stores have take back programs where you can turn in your used CFLs. If there are no such options where you live, you should put CFLs in a plastic bag and make sure it is sealed before throwing the bag in your trash. If your waste management company does incinerate all garbage, you may have to find another location to dispose of your bulbs properly.
Halogen light bulbs are a great alternative to conventional light bulbs and CFL bulbs. Halogen bulbs will burn brighter and last longer. They also are not considered hazardous and are a lot easier to dispose of than CFL bulbs.
Image credit: Anton Fomkin on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/antonfomkin/3045744275/