3R Bazaar: Light Bulb Recycling

Recycle Light Bulbs; earn scholarship funds for your village!

If you feel in the dark about light bulb disposal, here’s a bright idea: recycle used light bulbs to earn scholarship money! The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department has selected Incandescent, Compact Fluorescent (CFL) and LED light bulbs for the annual Village Recycling Challenge held at the 3R Recycling Drive-thru on Saturday, November 13, 2021 from 9 a.m. to noon in The Woodlands High School’s parking lot. Light bulbs must be intact, not broken. Batteries and other listed items will also be accepted. This event is for residents only, no businesses. 

This year’s Recycling Village Challenge shines a light on the importance of responsible waste disposal. Recycling light bulbs saves material that can be reused, reduces landfill space, and keeps hazardous chemicals out of our environment. Although they are made of glass, metal and plastic, light bulbs cannot be recycled in your curbside cart 

How are light bulbs recycled?

Light bulbs are put through a machine, called a tumbler, which crushes and separates the primary components: glass, metal, plastic, mercury and phosphor. These materials are then stored for manufacturing into new items.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) contain a small amount of mercury gas. If CFLs are disposed of in a trash can or landfill, the glass can crack and release mercury into the environment. Chemicals from CFLs and other hazardous waste, such as batteries that end up in the landfill, can leach into the surrounding water table, endangering human health and the environment. CFLs and other household hazardous waste should always be treated with care and safely disposed of through special collections. If you are saving CFL bulbs for recycling, please store them in a safe place such as their original box to avoid damage. 

Want to save money, energy and even water? 

LED light bulbs use 80% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, saving energy, money and even water. They also pose almost no fire risk because they emit less heat than other bulbs. LED lightbulbs may cost more up front, but they’ll save you hundreds or thousands of dollars over the years because of efficiency and long life span.  

Join us for free recycling of select items and support your village by bringing Incandescent, Compact Fluorescent (CFL) and LED light bulbs to the 3R Recycling Drive-thru for the Village Recycling Challenge. The village that collects the most will receive a donation, from The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N., to its scholarship fund.

Can’t make it to 3R Recycling Drive-thru?  

That’s ok! The Montgomery County Precinct 3 Recycling Center (1122 Pruitt Road in Spring), Home Depot, Lowes, Batteries Plus and Best Buy accept different types of light bulbs all year. For a comprehensive list of local recycling opportunities of other oddities such as electronics, batteries, paints, pharmaceuticals, and more check out the Recycle More Guide.  

For more information, visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/3rbazaar

3R Drive-thru Results

Woodlands residents saved over 17,000lbs of waste from the landfill at the 3R Drive-thru event.  

The Woodlands Township hosted the 3R Drive-thru on Saturday, November 14, 2020 from 9 a.m. to noon at The Woodlands High School. 750 vehicles drove through the event for free recycling of select items and secure document shredding.  

With the help of local partner organizations, more than 17,000 pounds of material was collected for recycling including 9,547 pounds of shredded paper by Shred It, 5,114 pounds of batteries by U-Waste Recycling Solutions, 2,692 pounds of textiles by Simple Recycling, 1,800 pairs of eyeglasses by The Woodlands Lions Club, 100 pounds of oral care products and two pounds of disposable razors by Junior Girl Scout Troop #108094, 10 pounds of snack and drink pouches by Hailey Elementary PTA and Wilkerson Intermediate PTO, and 1,200 cubic feet of block Styrofoam.  

$2,534 and 1,010 pounds of canned food items were also collected and donated to Interfaith of The Woodlands Food Pantry. Volunteers from National Charity League Texas Laurels (NCL) and National Charity Roundtable (NCR) assisted with event operations. 

Congratulations Grogan’s Mill Village for first place!

The 2020 Recycling Village Challenge item was batteries. The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. awards money to each village scholarship program based on pounds of batteries collected per capita (pounds of batteries collected per household in each village). 

Between annual 3R events, residents are encouraged to recycle rechargeable batteries at the Montgomery County Precinct 3 Recycling Facility (Montgomery County residents only), Batteries Plus Bulbs, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s or a Walmart Super Center. Single-use alkaline batteries can be recycled at Batteries Plus Bulbs or the Precinct 3 Recycling Facility. For more opportunities to recycle items not accepted in curbside recycling carts please check out the Recycle More Guide

The 3R Drive-thru is a free program of The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department with sponsorship from Chevron Phillips Chemical, Waste Management, Woodlands Water, Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. and Woodlands Wholesale Nursery. For more information about recycling, please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/recycling or contact the Township Environmental Services Department at enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov.  

Questions or comments? Email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov