Washington State Lamp Recycling Bulb Disposal
If you are a residential customer and have less than 40 bulbs, contact your local city hall and ask if your city has drop off locations for its residents light bulbs.
How Does The Mail Back Recycling Kit program work:
1. Our pre-paid recycling program is for lamps/bulbs, exit signs, ballasts, batteries, electronics and thermostats. Each kits price includes a container, all shipping costs to the recycling center, recycling costs and a certificate of recycling. You should receive your container(s) in 3-8 business days or less once ordered. You have one year to return them to us. On the website businesses can choose which containers will best serve their needs. Containers are available for fluorescent lamps, CFLs, ballasts, batteries, electronics, and thermostats.
2. Once the containers have been received a business can fill them up at their own pace. Each container is pre-printed with simple step-by-step instructions in both English and Spanish.
3. When a container is filled and sealed, the business can call the FedEx phone number that comes on each box to schedule a pre-paid pickup from their location. The filled container will be delivered for recycling to one of BulbCycle’s permitted facilities located within the United States.
If you would like to pay by invoice with net payment terms and purchase orders please ask our representatives for our vendor program forms.
Universal Waste State-Specific Regulations
At a glance:
- Recycling lamps is required for many facilities throughout the state
- Crushing fluorescent lamps is permitted in Washington
- Prepaid bulb recycling by mail is permitted in Washington
Need Recycling Containers for Washington?
The Universal Waste Rule for Lamps: WAC 173-303-573(5)
Any business that generates dangerous waste must follow the dangerous waste rules, Chapter 173-303 WAC. In Washington State, the Universal Waste Rule allows less burdensome management of the following wastes:
Businesses have the choice of managing these wastes as universal waste (UW) or dangerous waste. UW requirements for storage, transportation, and collection are less stringent. This publication focuses on the UW requirements for lamps. Publication number 98-407, The Universal Waste Rule provides more details on these requirements and the advantages of UW
What types of lamps are considered Universal Waste?
The types of lamps that may be Universal Waste include:
- Neon “Neon” lamp manufacturers sometimes use gases other than neon, and lamps have been manufactured that
contained up to 600 milligrams of mercury per tube.
- High Intensity Discharge (HID) (e.g., mercury vapor, metal halide, high pressure sodium)
- Any other lamps that are dangerous waste
- Compact fluorescent (CFL)
How can I tell if my lamps are dangerous waste?
The process of determining if a waste is hazardous is called designation. Through EPA test procedures, lamps have been shown to designate as dangerous waste because of their mercury and/or lead content. A generator has three choices when determining if their spent lamps are a dangerous waste:
- Assume that their lamps are a dangerous waste;
- Use manufacturer’s information, MSDS and other available information to designate by
- Designate by sampling and testing.
What are the requirements for Universal Waste management of lamps?
Manage Universal Waste lamps the same as the other Universal Wastes, except for a few specific handling requirements. Because glass bulbs are easily broken, Universal Waste rules require specific handling procedures. Universal waste management requirements for lamps include:
- Accumulation start date:
Both used and unused lamps become waste on the date the handler decides to discard them. Accumulation and dating of Universal Waste lamps: You can only accumulate lamps for one year from the date they are generated. To document this, the collection container or individual UW lamp is typically marked with the first date of accumulation. An extension to the one-year accumulation limit is allowed if the facility needs more time to collect enough items to facilitate proper recovery, treatment, or disposal.
- Labeling and Marking:
Clearly label or mark individual lamps or containers with one of the following phrases:
- Universal Waste – Lamps
- Waste Lamps
- Used Lamps
Contain lamps in structurally sound containers such as cardboard boxes or fiber drums. In addition, keep containers closed when not adding lamps.
- Clean up procedures:
Immediately clean up broken lamps and store debris in a closed container.
Large Quantity Handlers of Universal Waste (LQHUW)
When a handler exceeds 11,000 pounds (or 2,200 pounds for lamps), they become an LQHUW and are subject to extra requirements, including:
- Notification to Ecology of LQHUW status, and which specific types of UW they
- Tracking type and quantity of universal wastes received and shipped.
- Obtaining a RCRA Site Identification Number.
Transporting Universal Waste lamps:
You may self-transport UW lamps, complying with applicable U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. Refer to Ecology publication number 98-407 “The Universal Waste Rule” for details.
Does the rule apply to me?
The following types of businesses may generate dangerous waste lamps and can take advantage of the Universal Waste regulations:
- Regulated generators of dangerous waste (Medium Quantity and Large Quantity Generators)
- Businesses that generate or accumulate dangerous waste lamps in regulated quantities (this category may include commercial building/property owners that maintain the lighting for tenants)
- Businesses that provide collection and management services (e.g., lighting contractors)
- A dangerous waste generator has the choice of managing lamps as UW or under the more stringent dangerous waste requirements. In most cases UW management is much easier and the preferable alternative to dangerous waste management. Note that businesses that generate and manage dangerous wastes and UWs are considered both a dangerous waste generator and a UW handler. Regardless if you are a generator or a handler, you are liable for ensuring your waste is properly managed once it leaves your site.
Where do I send them?
Send them to BulbCycle. Click here to get started.
Why do we care about lamps?
Nationally, about 680 million lamps are disposed of annually, most to solid waste disposal facilities, including landfills and solid waste incinerators. Fluorescent lamps contain a small amount of mercury which is released when the lamp is broken. During waste handling and disposal, many lamps break, releasing mercury vapor and potentially exposing waste handlers to inhalation of those vapors. Waste incineration (not common in Washington State) of mercury-containing lamps also releases the mercury into the atmosphere. Mercury in the atmosphere is ultimately deposited back to the earth, rivers and lakes. From that point, mercury is then available to enter the food chain and eventually accumulates in fish. The mercury content in newer fluorescent tubes ranges from 3.5 milligrams to 8 milligrams or more. Some older fluorescent tubes (pre-1999) contain up to 50 milligrams of mercury. HID lamps may contain up to 250 milligrams, depending on the lamp wattage. Some lamps contain lead in the glass and lead solder in the base. Lead is a toxic metal that may leach from solid waste landfills into the ground water. Manufacturers are eliminating the lead by using non-leaded glass and solders in new lamps.
Although fluorescent and HID lamps contain toxic mercury and should be recycled, people are encouraged to continue using them because they use much less electricity and last much longer than other types of lighting. For this reason, fluorescents are a better long-term choice for the environment.
How do I manage lamps at home?
Homeowners are not required to manage their lamps as Universal Waste. They are strongly encouraged to take them to a local household hazardous waste collection facility or other appropriate recycling alternative, if available.
Washington State Lamp Recycling Locations
At BulbCycle Light Bulb and Ballast Recycling and Disposal, we work with government, private companies, hospitals, banks, retail stores, schools, and colleges throughout all of the state of Washington. We support Fluorescent lamp recycling and disposal from all the regions throughout the state. These areas include: Coastal Region, Northwest Washington, the Puget Sound, the Columbia River area, North Central Washington, South Central Washington, Northeast Washington, and Southeast Washington. Contact us at email@example.com or Call us at (858) 412-6536 with any questions regarding recycling lamps or bulbs in your area.
Where to recycle dispose of lamps and Fluorescent light bulbs in Washington? We support Fluorescent lamp recycling and disposal for the following cities and counties in Washington.
Washington is located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the south; Idaho to the east; British Columbia, Canada to the north; and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Major companies headquartered here include: Costco Wholesale (Issaquah); Microsoft (Redmond); Amazon (Seattle); PACCAR (Bellevue); Starbucks (Seattle); Nordstrom (Seattle); Expedia (Bellevue); Alaska Air Group (Seattle); Outerwall Inc. (Bellevue); and Symetra Financial Corporation (Bellevue).
Cities Serviced by BulbCycle in Washington
Lake Forest Park
Washington Counties Serviced by BulbCycle:
Grays Harbor County
Pend Oreille County
San Juan County
Walla Walla County