Best answer: Are fluorescent bulbs considered hazardous waste?

Although this summary only addresses fluorescent lamps, other lamp types are commonly classified as hazardous waste, including high-intensity discharge (HID), neon, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium, compact fluorescent and metal halide lamps.

How do I dispose of fluorescent bulbs?

Take lamps and tubes to a household hazardous waste collection center or event. Find where to recycle or dispose fluorescent lamps and tubes at Where Can I Recycle My…?, or Earth 911, or call 800 CLEAN-UP (253-2687). Enter your zip code to find the nearest recycling center.

Is fluorescent bulb hazardous waste?

Even though the amount of mercury is relatively small, fluorescent lights must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can cause severe damage to the brain, nervous system, kidneys, lungs, and other vital organs.

What type of waste are fluorescent bulbs?

Fluorescent lamps are classified as hazardous wastes under federal rules. This means, among other things, that it is illegal to dispose of them in dumpsters as common municipal waste. Note that the same hazardous waste rules apply to other mercury- containing lamps, including: high-intensity discharge (HID)

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What light bulbs are considered hazardous waste?

Light Bulbs that are Hazardous Waste:

  • Compact Fluorescent (CFLs)
  • High Intensity Discharge (HID)
  • Light Emitting Diode (LED)
  • Incandescent (including those made with argon, krypton, and xenon gases)
  • Halogen.

How do you dispose of 4 foot fluorescent tubes?

Place a broken fluorescent light tube in a resealable plastic bag. Place that bag inside another resealable plastic bag and dispose of the light tube in your household trash. If the 4-foot long tube will not fit inside a resealable plastic bag, double-bag it in plastic garbage bags and tie them off tightly.

How do I dispose of light bulbs?

Carefully clean the whole area and ensure that all pieces of the shattered light bulb are removed before wrapping them in paper. Dispose them in the general waste bin (EXCEPT fluorescent-based bulbs) and never in the recycling bin.

Why are fluorescent lights hazardous?

The danger with these bulbs is that they contain small amounts of mercury, a potent, developmental neurotoxin that can damage the brain, liver, kidneys and central nervous system, especially in infants and young children. … Virtually all components of a fluorescent bulb can be recycled. Your area may require recycling.

Can you put fluorescent light bulbs in a dumpster?

A fluorescent light tube in your dumpster is a violation of the hazardous waste laws. … Nonworking tubes must be recycled by an authorized recycling firm and cannot be discarded in the trash. Fluorescent tubes and bulbs may be managed as universal wastes under Title 22, Chapter 23 of the California Code of Regulations.

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Why are light bulbs hazardous waste?

However, mercury-containing devices are typically treated as hazardous waste, because light bulbs are likely to break if buried in landfills. The mercury they contained can then contaminate water and enter the atmosphere.

Are fluorescent lights considered universal waste?

Hazardous waste regulations designate a category of hazardous wastes called “universal waste” (u-waste). This category includes many items, including fluorescent lamps, cathode ray tubes, instruments that contain mercury, batteries, and others.

Can light bulbs be recycled?

Incandescent light bulbs and halogen light bulbs do not contain any hazardous materials, so it’s acceptable to throw these directly into the trash. They are recyclable, but because of the specialized processes necessary to separate the materials, they’re not accepted at all recycling centers.

What happens if you break a fluorescent bulb?

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) contain small amounts of mercury. A small percentage of this mercury can be released into the air if the bulbs are broken. Mercury also can be released into the environment if bulbs are not recycled properly. The amount of mercury in a CFL may be up to about 5 milligrams (mg).

Can you throw away fluorescent bulbs with green ends?


Although low-mercury or green-marked lamps may be legally disposed of in dumpsters or discarded with ordinary trash under federal rules, some states have stricter standards.

Will Home Depot take fluorescent tubes?

If the light bulb is intact, the mercury inside is safely contained, and you can take the old bulb to a qualified recycler—The Home Depot recycles your old CFLs for free, in partnership with EcoActions Never dispose of CFLs in the trash or curbside recycling bin.

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