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Recycling bulbs and ballasts

discarded fluorescent bulbs

Are you properly disposing of old lighting materials?

Some lamps and ballasts contain toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead, which are harmful to the environment and the people who handle them, if not disposed of correctly. Lighting equipment that falls under this category are subject to the Universal Waste Rule and the Toxic Substance Control Act, as regulated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Recycling prevents the release of mercury into the environment.  CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs often break when thrown into a dumpster, trash can or compactor, or when they end up in a landfill or incinerator. Learn more about CFLs and mercury. Other materials in the bulbs get reused.  Recycling CFLs and other fluorescent bulbs allows the reuse of the glass, metals and other materials that make up fluorescent lights. Virtually all components of a fluorescent bulb can be recycled.

Household hazardous waste (including bulbs and ballasts) may be dropped off at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection facility on the first and third Saturdays April through November, 8 a.m.- 12 p.m.

Other Types of Light Bulbs that Contain Mercury

The Environmental Protection Agency has complete lists of materials that fall under hazardous waste and universal waste category. Visit their website to learn about national and state regulations, and proper disposal techniques of toxic metal containing items.

Fluorescent bulbs:
  • Linear, U-tube and circline fluorescent tubes
  • Bug zappers
  • Tanning bulbs
  • Black lights
  • Germicidal bulbs
  • Fluorescent induction bulbs
  • High output bulbs, and
  • Cold-cathode fluorescent bulbs.
High intensity discharge bulbs:
  • Metal halide
  • Ceramic metal halide
  • Induction
  • Plasma
  • High pressure sodium, and mercury vapor.

Mercury short-arc bulbs; and Neon bulbs.

Commercial and Industrial Customers must arrange recycling through a third party collection. 

Local businesses that have recycling programs include:

Company Telephone Address
Batteries+Bulbs 573-443-4660 805 E. Nifong, Suite B, Columbia MO 65201
Butler Supply 573-875-4400 1708 Commerce Ct., Columbia, MO 65202
Frost Electric 573-875-4151 1711 Paris Rd., Columbia, MO 65201
French Gerleman 573-474-4194 1815 Vandiver Dr., Columbia, MO 65202

For additional recycling services, visit Earth911

Most recycling services charge rates per box, or per bulb. Call and compare for quotes to find the recycling provider that best fits your business needs.

Contact Utility Services


701 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65205


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