Fluorescent lamps/tubes contain the toxic metal, mercury. Therefore, these breakable lights must be carefully recycled and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends this. The glass, metal, and even the mercury can be recycled. Recycling prevents the release of mercury into the environment. CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs often break when thrown into a dumpster, trashcan or compactor, or when they end up in a landfill or incinerator. https://www.epa.gov/cfl/what-are-connections-between-mercury-and-cfls Other materials in the bulbs are reused. Recycling CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs allows the reuse of the glass, metals and other materials that make up fluorescent lights. Virtually all components of a fluorescent bulb can be recycled.