Fluorescent Maintenance Company strives to be as environmentally conscious as possible. One way we do that is by properly recycling the mercury-containing lamps we replace. Lamp recycling is the reclamation of the materials of a spent mercury containing lamp for the manufacture of new products. Glass tubing can be turned into road base, aluminium and plastic in end caps can be reused, and the mercury contained in the lamp can be reclaimed and used in new lamps. In the United States, about 620 million mercury-containing lamps are discarded annually; proper recycling of a lamp prevents emission of mercury into the environment, and is required by most states for commercial facilities. The primary advantage of recycling is diversion of mercury from landfill sites; the actual scrap value of the materials salvaged from a discarded lamp is insufficient to offset the cost of recycling.

Why Recycle?

Mecury-containing lamps, Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), and high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps (Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium, Mercury) all contain small amounts of mercury. The mercury within the lamp is not exposed to the environment unless the lamp is broken or disposed of improperly.These lamps are not a major contributor to mercury pollution, however, when large numbers are improperly disposed of they can add mercury to the environment. The best way to prevent the release of mercury from lighting is to recycle lamps instead of putting them in the solid-waste stream. Recycling lamps also collects the mercury, allowing it to be reused. The US Environmental Protection Agency has special regulations for mercury-containing lamps to help keep disposal costs low, making it easy for businesses to recycle lamps. Many businesses have recycling programs, you can contact your maintenance department to see if they have one intact. If not or if you are unsure, Fluorescent Maintenance Company can help implement one.

Disposal Methods

Governmental regulations in many areas require special disposal of mercury containing lamps separate from general and household wastes. For large commercial or industrial users of fluorescent lights, recycling services are available in many nations, and is required by regulation. Spent mercury containing lamps are typically packaged prior to transport to a recycling facility in one of three ways: boxed for bulk pickup, using a prepaid lamp recycling box, or crushed for pickup. A fluorescent lamp crusher can attach directly to a disposal drum and contain dust and mercury vapor.

Helpful Links is sponsored by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and maintains a list of companies claiming to recycle or handle spent mercury-containing lamps.


US EPA Universal Waste Web Page

US EPA Resource Conservation Recovery Act


Department of Public Health & Environment Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division 303-692-3320

Fact Sheets

Universal Waste Rule


Lighting Maintenance, Denver

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the lighting retrofit we received in November 2011. Paul Schaller handled the entire project from the time of estimate, work performed and the rebate process through Xcel with the upmost professionalism. Work was completed promptly and courteously and the rebate was received in a timely manner.

Sandra Walker
Hauptman Investments

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