Fact Sheet - Management of Fluorescent Lighting Wastes
Federal and State regulations apply to fluorescent lighting waste due to minute quantities of mercury and other metals that may be present in spent fluorescent bulbs. The University of Kentucky will manage used unbroken fluorescent bulbs as "Universal Waste" under EPA regulations. These bulbs will be recycled as part of our continuing efforts in waste minimization. Please note, low-mercury bulbs with green tips and/or green lettering on the tube do not require special handling.
What is Fluorescent Lighting Waste?
Fluorescent lighting waste refers to fluorescent lamp bulbs that are spent, burned out or have been removed due to their low level of efficiency. Fluorescent bulbs may no longer be placed in the regular trash. Unbroken fluorescent bulbs will be managed using the procedures described below. Broken or damaged fluorescent lamp bulbs must be treated as hazardous waste and will be managed under UK's Hazardous Waste Program.
Managing Used Fluorescent Bulbs
Only properly trained maintenance personnel may change fluorescent bulbs. The bulbs should be placed into shipping containers supplied by Environmental Management (EM). These containers will be stored on site until they are full. Full containers should be marked with magic marker or wax pencil with the words "Universal Waste Fluorescent Light Bulbs," the number of bulbs in the container, and the building(s) where they originated. Maintenance personnel on campus should contact EM when containers are full to arrange pickup. Off campus sites should contact EM to make arrangements to have bulbs delivered to EM.
Managing Broken or Damaged Fluorescent Bulbs
Broken or damaged bulbs will be treated as hazardous waste. All debris from broken or damaged bulbs must be cleaned up and placed into a sealed bag. The bag should then be placed in a puncture-proof container (such as a cardboard box) and labeled "Hazardous Waste". Use the E-Trax system to request a pickup or contact Brian Butler.