Quick Facts

  • Due to mercury concerns, recycling fluorescent bulbs is highly recommended by the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources and is required for many facilities throughout the state
  • Crushing fluorescent bulbs is allowed in Iowa
  • Prepaid recycling by mail is allowed in Iowa

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Recycling Options Available in Iowa


Crushes fluorescent lamps of any size while removing mercury vapors. Reduces labor, recycling costs, and storage vs. packing lamps.

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Fill up containers with bulbs, ballasts, batteries, or e-waste at your own pace and mail back via prepaid shipping.

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For larger amounts of bulbs, ballasts, batteries, or e-waste. Trucks come pick up waste at your location for recycling.

Schedule a Pickup


Detailed Iowa Fluorescent Bulb Recycling Regulations

The stringency table below provides examples of state regulations compared to the EPA regulations. We strongly recommend that you discuss stringency with your primary state regulatory contact. This information should not be interpreted as definitive legal guidance. This document was produced in June 2004, and we do not guarantee its accuracy after that date, as state policies may change at any time.

("same" means the state policy is the same as the federal policy)


Jurisdiction: Federal EPA

Generator Exemption (CESQG): Generators producing less than 100 kg (220 pounds) of hazardous waste (HW) or 1 kg acute HW in each month, including all HW generated. CESQGs are exempt from federal rules, but not exempt from liability (40 CFR 261.5)

Where can waste from CESQG go? Waste may go to any Municipal Solid Waste Landfill (MSWLF)

Can the waste be declared non-hazardous, based on TCLP? Wastes that test less than 0.2mg/l soluble mercury are not considered hazardous under federal rules.

Other stringency or exemptions? Crushing can only be done by generator (40 CFR 262.34); crushed waste that is not UW- must be managed as RCRA HW. Crushing not allowed within federal UWR, but may be within State UW regulations. No one may crush third-party lamps without treatment authorization [1]. No mobile treatment units.


Jurisdiction: Iowa

Generator Exemption (CESQG): same

Where can waste from CESQG go? Waste must be disposed of through a hazardous waste contractor or at a regional collection center.

Can the waste be declared non-hazardous, based on TCLP? same

Other stringency or exemptions? same


State Regulatory Contacts


Susan Johnson - Environmental Specialist

Agency Address: Department of Natural Resources, Energy and Waste Management Bureau, 502 East 9th, Des Moines, IA 50319

Phone: (515) 281-3426

Email: [email protected]



Theresa Stiner - Environmental Specialist

Agency Address: Department of Natural Resources, Energy and Waste Management Bureau, 502 East 9th, Des Moines, IA 50319

Phone: (515) 281-8646

Email: [email protected]


Department of Natural Resources Main Number

Phone: (515) 281-7982

Area of Responsibility: Special waste authorization; fluorescent lamp questions.


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