How to Dispose of Projector Lamps

Alexis Labadie Profile image

Written By:

Updated December 8, 2022

Many short-throw and leading long-throw projector lamps use metal halide bulbs, a subcategory of high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs. Although these types of lamps used to be common, they have steadily been replaced by safer light bulbs that do not contain mercury. The type of lighting directly affects the best projectors during every function.

You should also check out our article how do I know if my projector bulb is going bad. As a result, you should recycle your projector lamps as they expire through local retailers, mail-ins to the manufacturer, or through a waste collection agency.


  • You should recycle your projector bulbs through one of the designated programs, including through a retailer, mail-in kit, or waste management.
  • Some retailers offer recycling programs for certain mercury-containing light bulbs.
  • To eliminate hazardous waste, you may be able to find a designated waste management service that can pick your lamp up.

Disposing of Projector Lamps

The best way to dispose of projector lamps, Screen Innovations projector screens, and other types of hazardous material is to research what methods can be used for elimination. However, we have done the research for you, so you can rest easy and choose from one of these options: lamp recycling through a hardware retailer, mailing the lamp to a projector lamp source, or through a waste management company. After deciding how to dispose of a projection lamp, you may want to know how to replace a projector bulb with an LED. Plus, if you’re going to replace the bulb, you may also need to replace the projector lens

Insider Tip

Some hardware stores will recycle your electronics for you, so you should check with them.

Retailers who Recycle Mercury-containing Lamps

Many home appliance retailers offer recycling at their stores. However, you will need to check with your local store before going to ensure that they are participating in the recycling program, especially if you have fluorescent tubes. These stores include Home Depot, Ikea, Lowe’s, and TrueValue, as well as some region-specific stores such as Aubuchon Hardware and Bartell Drugs. Make sure you know which type of lamp you have so they can confirm whether they accept those incandescent bulbs.

Mail-back Services for Projector Lamps

You may be able to mail in your used light bulb through the use of a pre-labeled recycling kit. Bulb manufacturers and other organizations sell these. You purchase the kit and then send your used bulb through the mail to a specified recycling center. Some brands that offer this service include EcoLights, Everlight, Inc, and Lampmaster. When packaging the bulb up for mailing, be careful when handling it and package them as described. The recycling center will handle the product after that, preventing them from going to landfills.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use a new bulb after discarding the old one, you can always learn how to replace a projector bulb with LED.

Waste Collection Agency

Some waste collection agencies collect hazardous wastes, but they may charge a fee to do so. Because of this fee, you may want to look at more than one to find the best option for your area. In some states, you can place the mercury-containing lamps in a plastic bag and put them in the trash for collection. However, if you’re area does not, you can likely find a service for collection by looking at the EPA website or your local government’s health website.

Some projector models will also offer such aid on their forums. That said, you’ll learn more about a great projector with our Optoma UHD50X review.

Dangers of Mercury Exposure

Mercury is found naturally in volcanic eruptions and emissions from the ocean. However, the greatest chance of mercury exposure comes from eating fish or shellfish that was in contaminated water. Mercury can also be found in various technologies, including light bulbs, thermometers, jewelry, and dental fillings. If these items break, the mercury is released, exposing the user to the metal. Some mercury exposure symptoms are tremors, insomnia, headaches, and emotional changes. Additionally, changes to neuromuscular functions, sensations, nerve responses, and mental functions are possible.


Many waste management companies will pick up hazardous waste within their service area, but they may have associated fees.


Why you should recycle your projector lamps?

You should recycle your projector lamps because they contain mercury, which is toxic to humans and animals alike.

Do projector lamps contain mercury?

Yes, many of the older-style projectors use projector lamps that contain mercury. However, if you have an LED or laser-based projector, your lighting does not present this risk.

Are LED light bulbs the best way to save energy?

LED light bulbs save a large amount of money compared to incandescent light bulbs by using less energy to cool the projector.

STAT: Some bulb manufacturers and other organizations sell pre-labeled recycling kits that allow you to mail used bulbs to recycling centers. (source)

Beth Huston Profile image