Fluorescent Lamps FAQs

Fluorescent Lamps & Mercury

How do I properly recycle/dispose of fluorescent lamps and mercury?

Be extremely careful in the handling of both fluorescent lamps (they contain small quantities of mercury) and mercury. Mercury is extremely poisonous. For more background information on mercury click here on Mercury Information.

Fluorescent and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps in Mississippi are covered under the Universal Waste Rule of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Lamps generated by residential home owners are exempt from the law and lamps can be disposed of with residential garbage. Companies that generate less than 220 pounds/month of hazardous waste including the lamps are conditionally exempt from the law and may dispose of the lamps as normal solid waste. Small and large quantity generators of hazardous waste (220 to 2,200 pounds/month are small quantity generators and over 2,200 pounds/month are large quantity generators) must manage fluorescent and HID lamps as hazardous waste. It takes approximately 340 four foot lamps or about 183 eight foot lamps to total 220 pounds.

Whenever possible, attempt to recycle fluorescent lamps and mercury to prevent them from entering the landfill. The Recycling and Solid Waste Reduction Program maintains a Fluorescent Lamp and Mercury Recycling Directory to assist businesses and industries as well as the general public in finding locations to recycle fluorescent lamps and mercury. Click here on Recycling Directories to find out about locations for recycling fluorescent lamps and mercury.

For more information on the Universal Waste Rule, click here on EPA - Universal Waste Rule or contact the Hazardous Waste Division at MDEQ at 601/961-5171.