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Disposal Options for Fluorescent and HID Lamps in New York State

  • Fluorescent and HID1 Lamps Contain Mercury. When broken, incinerated, or buried in a landfill, they release mercury into the air, water and soil and endanger human health and the environment.
  • The New York State Department of Health lists more than 70 bodies of water in the State with sport fish consumption advisories for mercury, warning pregnant women and young children not to eat certain species of fish.
  • Standard mercury-containing fluorescent and HID lamps, which fail the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP), MUST be managed as a hazardous waste in accordance with New York State Hazardous Waste Regulations or the Universal Waste Rule. See disposal options below.
  • "Green end cap" or other low-mercury lamps that pass the TCLP, are not mercury free and MUST be recycled or managed by an authorized facility in accordance with recent legislation (Chapter 145, Laws of 2004), which became effective on July 12, 2005. Certain small businesses, as defined by Chapter 145, Laws of 2004, with 100 or less employees disposing of 15 or less non-hazardous waste lamps per month are exempt.
  • All businesses and households are STRONGLY encouraged to recycle their mercury-containing lamps, including low-mercury or "green end cap" lamps.
  • Improper disposal of mercury lamps is AGAINST THE LAW. Violators will be subject to civil and criminal penalties and may be held liable for contaminated waste sites. Also, employees may be exposed to unsafe mercury levels from mismanaged waste lamps.
  • Fluorescent lamps are approximately 75% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last 5-10 times longer. Using them will help lower your electric bill!

1- HID (High-Intensity Discharge) bulbs include metal halide, high pressure sodium and mercury vapor lamps used commonly in commercial indoor and outdoor lighting and other specialty lighting applications.

Disposal Options for Fluorescent and HID Lamps in New York State

For Commercial/Institutional:

Dispose of fluorescent and HID lamps through one of the following sources:

Lamp Recyclers List:

Visit: List of Fluorescent and HID Lamp Recyclers.

Listed recyclers and/or companies that manage mercury-containing lamps are in no way endorsed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Check the yellow pages of your telephone book for "Hazardous Waste Disposal", "Waste Disposal", "Waste Recycling", etc., to obtain a list of vendors servicing your area.

Electrical Distributors/Retailers:

Some distributors/retailers provide waste management services, offering a convenient, one-stop shopping arrangement for lamp purchasing and spent lamp management. Ask your lamp distributor if they provide this service, or check the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) web page available on the right side of this page under "Links Leaving DEC's Website".

Waste lamps managed by a distributor in this manner must be managed as a Universal Waste. Otherwise, utilizing this service may put you out of compliance. Always ask them to ensure your lamps will be managed under the Universal Waste Rule!!

For More Information regarding proper lamp management:

Contact the RCRA Compliance and Technical Support Section by
Phone: 518-402-8652
Division of Materials Management
RCRA Compliance and Technical Support Section
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7256

For Households:

Households are exempt from the regulations but strongly encouraged to recycle fluorescent and HID lamps. Recycle them through your local NYS DEC sponsored Household Hazardous Waste Program. For more information, call 518-402-8678.

For updated information about mercury and the management of mercury-added consumer products in New York State
, visit: Management of Mercury-Added Consumer Products in New York State.

The contents of this page were prepared in cooperation with the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA). This project was EPA funded.