Fluorescent, High Intensity Discharge & Neon Lamps & Ballasts
Fluorescent lamps and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps, including compact fluorescent, mercury vapor, high-pressure sodium and metal halide lamps, are banned from solid waste disposal in Minnesota because they contain mercury (Minnesota Statutes §115A.932). Lamps in this group are banned from solid waste disposal even if they pass the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP).
Businesses and organizations that replace or remove from service the equivalent of more than 1,000 four-foot fluorescent lamps per year must obtain a hazardous waste generator license from the appropriate metro county. Smaller quantities need not be reported to the county, but must still be managed properly.
Resources & Links
Xcel Energy, through its BudgetSmart
program provides residents and small business electric customers with convenient options for recycling of fluorescent lamps. Refer to the
Xcel Energy web site for a list of participating area retailer drop-off sites, and the lamp recycling coupons.
Businesses can recycle spent fluorescent lamps and old electronics for a fee at The Recycling Zone. The Recycling Zone accepts bulbs from businesses on the second Tuesday of every month from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. If you are planning to deliver 1,000 lamps or more, call first. Find more information on disposal costs, payment information and preparation requirements on Dakota County’s website and search business hazardous waste or call The Recycling Zone at 651-905-4520.
Waste Management's LampTracker for commercial recycling program
offers safe, simple, compliant recycling solutions for universal wastes
including fluorescent lamps, dry cell batteries, lighting ballasts,
mercury switches and devices, along with computers and electronics. Containers
can be ordered at www.wmlamptracker.com.
The prepaid program includes recycling containers with Mercury VaporLok
(tm) protection, shipping both ways via UPS or FedEx, recycling of the
wastes, an emailed recycling certificate, and complete online
documentation of every container ordered and recycled.
Ballasts from fluorescent lamp fixtures are assumed to contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) unless they are marked or tested to show otherwise. Ballasts marked by the manufacturer stating they contain no PCBs are not regulated as hazardous waste; instead, they may be recycled or managed as an Industrial Solid Waste. Ballasts with PCBs are hazardous and must be managed as a hazardous waste as described in Management Requirements below.
Management RequirementsMinnesota businesses have two options for disposing of fluorescent, HID and neon lamps, and non-leaking PCB ballasts:
- Manage as a hazardous waste following all the hazardous waste rules (see 8 Step Hazardous Waste Management Guide); or
- Recycle fluorescent and HID lamps and manage non-leaking PCB ballasts following proper storage and transportation requirements. These are outlined in the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) fact sheet, Managing PCBs in Ballasts and Small Capacitators. Contact the MPCA for more information at (651) 296-6300.
Before You Choose a Lamp Transporter
- Ask the collection site or transporter where the lamps will be recycled, and verify that a certificate of recycling will be provided.
- Call the recycling facility to make sure the transporter has a contract with that facility.
- Call the MPCA Permits Unit at (651) 296-6300 to verify the recycling facility has signed a Compliance Agreement form.
Many waste handling firms and trucking companies transport lamps. However, it is the generator's responsibility to carefully store lamps to avoid breakage and to keep records on the transport and processing of their lamps. For more information regarding licensing or fluorescent lamp processing procedures, contact your county environmental office or the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency at (651) 296-6300.
For more information on each facility, including a list of other items accepted, click on the facility name.
Select materials or services to see facilities.