Fluorescent Light Bulbs Recycling

Fluorescent Light Bulbs Recycling

On July 6, 1999, the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued the final rule (Federal Register, Vol. 64, No. 128) that added fluorescent lights to the universal wastes lists regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. A fluorescent bulb is considered a universal waste if laboratory analysis determines that it contains greater than 0.2 milligrams per liter (mg/l) of mercury. The majority of fluorescent bulbs exceed that mercury concentration.

As a direct result of this ruling and in accordance with our waste minimization plan, Duke University no longer purchases lights that contain high levels of mercury. These include compact fluorescent, fluorescent, ultraviolet, metal halide, and mercury vapor lights. The maintenance divisions of Facilities Management and Engineering and Operations have been and will continue to replace these bulbs with reduced mercury bulbs that contain less than 0.2 mg/l of mercury.

The used bulbs will be placed in designated storage areas, packaged, and shipped for recycling. At the recycling facility, the bulbs will be crushed and the various parts of the bulbs will be separated. The captured mercury will be shipped for reclamation. The recovered glass and metal will be shipped to other recycling facilities. Duke storage areas are located in Duke Hospital North, Duke Clinic, Jones Building, and Buchanan Street. If you have any questions about this program, please contact us at (919) 684-2794.

Fluorescent Light Management Practice

Guidelines for Labeling & Packaging of Waste Lamps