Information & Resources

Why Recycle Light Bulbs?

Mercury is used in most types of light bulbs (lamps.)  Recycling lamps and other mercury-containing equipment helps keep toxic mercury from contaminating our enviroment. 

In addition to protecting the environment, companies have another reason to properly manage their lamps, batteries and mercury-containing equipment.  These items are regulated by EPA.  EPA and state environmental agencies mandate certain businesses properly manage these materials.

Universal Waste Rule

The universal waste rule (UWR) was created by EPA to encourage generators to recycle commonly generated hazardous waste: lamps, batteries, mercury containing equipment and certain pesticides. It did this by decreasing the regulatory burden on universal waste generators (handlers). The following are benefits of the universal waste rule:

  • Biennial Reporting is not required for universal wastes  
  • Generators (called "handlers" under the UWR) are not required to get an EPA ID # unless considered a Large Quantity Handler of Universal Waste (LQHUW)
  • Hazardous waste labeling is not required
  • Hazardous waste manifest/transporter is not required
  • Handlers can store universal waste for up to one year
  • Decreased packing requirements
  • Documenting and tracking shipments only required for LQHUWs