Recycling Bulbs and Ballasts
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 opens in a new windowUniversal Waste Rule and the opens in a new windowToxic Substance Control Act, as regulated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Benefits of Recycling Bulbs and Ballasts
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. opens in a new windowLearn 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.
Other Types of Light Bulbs that Contain Mercury
The opens in a new windowEnvironmental 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.
- 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
- High pressure sodium, and mercury vapor.
Mercury short-arc bulbs and neon bulbs
Where to Recycle Bulbs and Ballasts
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. opens in a new windowClick here for details.
For Commercial and Industrial Customers
Commercial and Industrial Customers must arrange recycling through a third party collection.
Local businesses that have recycling programs include:
- opens in a new windowBatteries+Bulbs: Call 573-443-4660; 805 E. Nifong, Suite B, Columbia MO 65201
- opens in a new windowButler Supply: Call 573-875-4400; 1708 Commerce Ct., Columbia, MO 65202
- opens in a new windowFrost Electric: Call 573-875-4151; 1711 Paris Rd., Columbia, MO 65201
- opens in a new windowFrench Gerleman: Call 573-474-4194; 1815 Vandiver Dr., Columbia, MO 65202
For additional recycling services, visit opens in a new windowEarth911.
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.