Flourescent Tubes

 

Fluorescent and HID lamps contain mercury and in most cases are considered to be hazardous waste when disposed. Mercury is a toxic metal that can accumulate in living tissue and cause adverse health effects. When a lamp is broken or placed in a landfill or incinerator, the mercury can contaminate the air, surface water, and ground water. You are highly encouraged to recycle your mercury containing lamps rather than dispose of them. Contact DEP for a list of licensed lamp recylers When recycled, these lamps will not count toward your facility's hazardous waste generator status. However, if the lamps are determined hazardous and you choose to dispose of them in a hazardous waste landfill, they will count toward your facility's hazardous waste generator status.

DO...
  • recycle your fluorescent and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps. Lamps destined for recycling will not count toward your facility's hazardous waste generator status
  • perform a hazardous waste determination on your mercury containing lamps if you choose not to recycle your lamps. Do dispose of your mercury containing lamps in a hazardous waste landfill if they are found to be hazardous. These lamps will count toward your facility's hazardous waste generator status.
  • store lamps in a manner that will prevent them from breaking. If lamps are broken, store them in a tightly sealed container marked "Spent Broken Mercury- Containing Lamps"
  • label your lamp storage area and each container as "Spent Mercury-Containing Lamps"
  • keep copies of any shipping papers for at least 3 years
DON'T...
 
  • intentionally break or crush lamps because mercury may be released
  • tape lamps together for storage or shipment. This may cause them to break
  • You are highly encouraged to recycle your Mercury containing lamps rather than dispose of them

For more information concerning the proper handling of fluorescent tubes, contact the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Solid and Hazardous Waste (http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/shw/default.htm) or the Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management (http://Hinkleycenter.org). This information is offered only as guidance. Specific requirements may vary with individual processes and/or businesses.