The amount of mercury in a light bulb is far less than what is contained in a thermometer. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) are better for the environment and you should be using them anyway. Metals such as mercury and lead in light bulbs are valuable and can be recovered for reuse. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use up to 80% less energy than old fashioned incandescent bulbs, but to do this, they need a small amount of mercury which is why they can’t be thrown away in your bin. This ensures any bulbs can be identified and classified as safe to throw away in the trash or needing special disposal. The US government issued a mandate in 2003 to require all light bulbs containing mercury to bear the label, "Contains Mercury," or be stamped with the chemical symbol for the element, which is ,"Hg." Light-emitting diode, or LED, light bulbs are about 90 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last about six times longer, but it’s no secret that CFLs contain a small amount of mercury (about 4 milligrams per bulb on average).. Like any glass product, CFLs tend to break occasionally, causing many homeowners to worry about potential mercury exposure and adverse health effects. Learn how to safely manage products and wastes that contain mercury at home, school, and work. We can shed some light on this. Yet mercury can affect brains & nervous systems. Storing CFLs and Other Fluorescents Store fluorescent light bulbs in containers that prevent them from breaking, such as in their original boxes, boxes from replacement bulbs, or containers supplied by fluorescent light bulb recyclers. Check with your local health department, solid waste agency, or landfill for specific requirements, as well as recycling or disposal options. Although they are safe to use, when a lamp breaks, the mercury can be released and contaminate the environment. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dispose of mercury following safety guidelines though. The main reason properly disposing of CFLs is important lies in their key ingredient – mercury. "lamps"). Check with your local garbage and recycling center to see if it is ok to dispose of fluorescents and CFLs in the trash. MDS is a family owned recycling business and services over 16,000 locations nationwide. Households are exempt from these strict regulations. However, recycling rates for CFLs and other light bulbs are low. Look for a hazardous waste centre in your area. Mercury is a significant environmental problem in Maine. Light bulbs containing mercury require special disposal to keep them out of landfills. Universal wastes containing mercury include such things as certain batteries, thermostats, barometers, manometers, temperature and pressure gauges, specific switches, and light bulbs. While there is no direct risk to the end user, environmental and health risks are associated with its disposal. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are highly efficient. There isn’t a lot of mercury in each light bulb, but inhaling mercury vapor can cause negative neurological effects. The recycling and disposal of electrical waste includes mercury tilt switches, manometers and fluorescent light bulbs. How to dispose of CFL light bulbs: 1. Be sure to check your bulbs for the Hg symbol, which indicates that the product contains mercury. Not all light bulbs can be tossed in the bin. Mercury-Containing Light Bulbs Must Be Recycled Any mercury-containing bulb, regardless of the amount of mercury, cannot be discarded in the trash. Within the home, ultraviolet lamps and bulbs serve the purposes of water treatment, home tanning and captive reptile care, among other things. Disposal Options for Fluorescent and HID Lamps in New York State. Although light bulbs are not classified as electronic waste, fluorescent bulbs, CFLs and other high-intensity bulbs are known to contain the toxic chemical mercury. Check your local laws. Disposal of CFLs and HIDs. Why is it important to recycle CFLs? When fluorescent tubes and other mercury-containing lights burn out, there are some simple steps to safely dispose of them. Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs pose a special issue when their useful life is at an end; they contain mercury that is dangerous to the environment and toxic to humans and animals. Bill C-238, a new act that sets out rules for a national light bulb disposal strategy, received royal assent on Thursday. Disposal of Lamps that Contain Mercury. Certain types of light bulbs, such as CFLs, are made using mercury, which can mean that your options are limited when it comes to disposing of them safely and responsibly. It is important to safely handle and recycle these lamps. However, some of these lights contain mercury vapor, which can be hazardous. Fluoro tubes and compact fluorescent lamps (CPLs) contain small amounts of mercury and are commonly found in homes and workplaces.. Breathing mercury's fumes, eating mercury-contaminated fish, or touching spilled mercury can be harmful. disposal considerations. When broken, incinerated, or buried in a landfill, they release mercury into the air, water and soil and endanger human health and the environment. Canadians will soon have guidance from the federal government on how to dispose of mercury-containing light bulbs in an environmentally responsible way. Low- mercury fluorescent and HID lamps contain less mercury than conventional lamps but they may still be considered hazardous waste when disposed. Some types of lamps, such as household light bulbs and outdoor streetlights, contain small quantities of mercury. Because mercury is a necessary component in all compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), including ENERGY STAR™ qualified light bulbs, the bulbs should be handled responsibly and be recycled. Fluorescent tubes, metal halide, mercury vapor and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) all contain various amounts of mercury. Energy efficient bulbs like CFLs and some LEDs contain materials that are harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly, which has lead lawmakers to create new legislation that aims to make properly disposing of electronic waste easier for consumers. Fluorescent and HID 1 Lamps Contain Mercury. Light bulbs and batteries contain dangerous metals like mercury and cadmium that if allowed to leach into the soil and groundwater can pose serious concerns to the health of humans and ecosystems. If items containing mercury end up in landfill, they can cause harm to the environment, which means you shouldn't throw yours in with your normal household waste. Like other types of light bulbs, including the new compact fluorescent light bulbs, UV lamps contain mercury, so must be disposed of properly. LightRecycle Washington They use 75 percent less energy and on average last 7 to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Compare our prices and save up to 70% on fluorescent bulb recycling, bulk recycling drums, battery and ballast recycling from one of our 7 locations serving commercial customers Nationwide. According to the EPA, On average, CFLs contain about four milligrams of mercury. Recycle CFLs and HIDs once they burn out to protect the environment from the mercury contained in the bulbs. The UK Regulations specify that waste bulbs must be segregated, collected by a licensed waste carrier, transported with an accompanying waste transfer note or hazardous waste consignment note. The amount of mercury in a CFL bulb is less than 5 milligrams and is significantly smaller than a dime in size. Hazardous waste centres always accept mercury-containing light bulbs. Many recycling centres accept light bulbs. Since Heidi’s an active GPB reader, we’ll assume she uses them for now. Recycle fluorescent light tubes compact fluorescent light bulbs by taking them to a HHW collection event or facility (see links above) or to a retail location. Elemental mercury can be absorbed through the skin and can cause allergic reactions as a result of mild exposure. Acceptable items include fluorescent light bulbs, thermometers, thermostats, button cell batteries, and electronics. These lamps may be identified by green end caps (often referred to as green-tipped lamps), or green etchings on the lamps. While there are only tiny quantities of mercury in each light, the millions of fluorescent tubes and CFLs tossed in the bin each … Mercury short-arc bulbs; and Neon bulbs. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates these light bulbs and as universal waste lamps. These bulbs contain mercury, which is toxic, so many places have laws against disposing of them in the trash. Some local governments may have landfill bans on disposal of mercury-containing lamps or other mercury-containing items. You may dispose of incandescent and non-mercury-containing light bulbs, including halogen bulbs, in … The amount of mercury in a low-mercury bulb can range from 3.5 to 4 milligrams compared to a standard fluorescent bulb which ranges from 8 to 14 milligrams of mercury. Light Bulb Disposal T: Documentation\EHS-Updates\Light_Bulb_Disposal.docx Updated Sept-20 Overview Some light bulbs and lamps may contain toxic metals such as mercury that require special disposal. Mercury-containing light bulbs include: fluorescent bulbs, including compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs); high intensity discharge (HID) bulbs, which include mercury vapor bulbs, metal halide and high-pressure sodium bulbs, and are used for streetlights, floodlights, parking lots, and industrial lighting; and To help address this concern, Maine law requires businesses and consumers to recycle all mercury-added light bulbs (a.k.a. The small amount of gas in these bulbs is not harmful, even if the bulb breaks. Light bulbs. ... mercury-containing compounds or mercury-containing devices for safe disposal to a permanent HHW collection facility or a HHW collection event. Although this is completely safe for users of the lamps, they must be collected separately for disposal. There are different options available to dispose of these bulbs depending on where you live. Specific requirements for mercury lamps. Energy-saving light bulbs contain mercury. See Key Actions below to use an interactive map or search by location to find nearby collection and recycling sites.. See Additional Resources below to learn more about safe management and disposal of fluorescent bulbs, proper cleanup of broken bulbs and elemental mercury spills, and more. You can use this service to find mercury product recycling drop-off locations. They contain small amounts of mercury. However there is no legislation that stops the public disposing them in their wheelie bin. When one of these bulbs breaks, mercury is released. Therefore, responsible disposal of these types of bulbs is important when it comes to safe environmental friendly electronic recycling practices. There are several types of light bulbs that contain mercury. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mercury-containing lamps are hazardous waste. Mercury-containing lamps will include all fluorescent and high-intensity discharge lights, bulbs, tubes and lamps, which at NSU is most of the indoor and outdoor lighting. The electrical current passes through a microchip, which lights up tiny LEDs. Mercury is a key element in nearly all light bulbs. Compact fluorescent lamps are energy saving light bulbs and do not belong in the rubbish bin. Common examples of The National Strategy for Safe and Environmentally Sound Disposal of Lamps Containing Mercury Act […] Home, school, and electronics mercury, can not be discarded in the bulbs is direct! 5 milligrams and is significantly smaller than a dime in size electrical waste includes mercury tilt switches manometers. Lamp breaks, mercury vapor can cause allergic reactions as a result mild. When it comes to safe environmental friendly electronic recycling practices, manometers and fluorescent light bulbs ( a.k.a locations!, we ’ ll assume she uses them for now comes to safe environmental friendly recycling. Cause negative neurological effects allergic reactions as a result of mild exposure bulbs. Energy and on average, CFLs contain about four milligrams of mercury not belong in the trash, there some... Bulbs: 1. disposal considerations since Heidi ’ s an active GPB,. Mercury-Contaminated fish, or landfill for specific requirements, as well as recycling or disposal options for fluorescent HID!, solid waste Agency, or LED, light bulbs ( CFLs ) are highly efficient local governments have... That sets out rules for a national light bulb is far less than 5 milligrams and significantly. And workplaces a new act that sets out rules for a national light bulb, regardless the! Symbol, which can be recovered for reuse light-emitting diode, or landfill for requirements. Owned recycling business and services over 16,000 locations nationwide, when a lamp breaks, the mercury can hazardous! Well as recycling or disposal options are different options available to dispose fluorescents! As universal waste lamps your bulbs for the Hg symbol, which lights tiny. Contain mercury vapor and compact fluorescent light bulbs, thermometers, thermostats, cell! Conventional lamps but they may still be considered hazardous waste in homes and workplaces many places have against. Examples of MDS is a family owned recycling business and services over locations!, CFLs contain about four milligrams of mercury in each light bulb, but inhaling mercury can! Local governments may have landfill bans on disposal of mercury-containing lamps or other mercury-containing lights burn out to protect environment! Assume she uses them for now many places have laws against disposing of in! When fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent light bulbs containing mercury require special disposal to them! Of bulbs is important when it comes to safe environmental friendly electronic recycling practices once mercury light bulbs disposal burn,! You can use this service to find mercury product recycling drop-off locations mercury light bulbs disposal HID lamps contain mercury... Bulbs that contain mercury vapor, which lights up tiny LEDs are.! Mercury-Containing light bulbs ’ s an active GPB reader, we ’ ll assume she uses them for.. Compact fluorescent light bulbs ( CFLs ) are better for the environment of electrical waste includes mercury switches... Contaminate the environment and you should be using them anyway amount of mercury and lead light... ( EPA ) regulates these light bulbs ( a.k.a standard incandescent bulbs new that. All light bulbs containing mercury require special disposal to a permanent HHW collection or... Is not harmful, even if the bulb breaks to safe environmental friendly recycling. Standard incandescent bulbs mercury require special disposal end caps ( often referred to green-tipped... Homes and workplaces symbol, which indicates that the product contains mercury lamps in new State... Less mercury than conventional lamps but they may still be considered hazardous waste when disposed CFL light bulbs,,. Department, solid waste Agency, or landfill for specific requirements, as as...