LED is a highly energy-efficient lighting technology, using at least 75% less energy and lasting up to 25 times longer than incandescent lighting, according to the US Department of Energy.
Many of us are making the switch to LED and with that comes a question, does it make sense to use up our incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb supply because they've already been manufactured, or should we recycle or landfill them?
For incandescent bulbs, the Sierra Club says they are not worth the electricity they'll use and they don't contain hazardous substances, so put them in the trash.
The bulb materials are so low in value that recycling isn't useful. Although CFLs use far less energy than incandescent bulbs, they aren't as efficient as LEDs, and likely last 1/5 as long.
CLFs sales have been banned in Vermont and California. If you do decide to discard CFLs, don't throw them in the regular trash as they contain mercury, a neurotoxin that can be dangerous, even in very small doses.