Quick Facts

  • Due to mercury concerns, recycling fluorescent bulbs is highly recommended by the Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation and is required for most facilities throughout the state
  • Crushing fluorescent bulbs is allowed in Tennessee
  • Crushed bulbs are considered universal waste in Tennessee
  • Prepaid bulb recycling by mail is allowed in Tennessee

Select another state


Recycling Options Available in Tennessee


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

Request Price



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

Start Now



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

Schedule a Pickup


Detailed Tennessee 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: Tennessee

Generator Exemption (CESQG): Exemption only for <15 lamps per month

Where can waste from CESQG go? Waste must go to RCRA Sub-C facility

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

Other stringency or exemptions? Crushing allowed by generator with pre approval, for volume reduction only, with monitoring and training


State Regulatory Contacts


Robert Nakamoto - Environmental Protection Specialist

Agency Address: Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Solid Waste Management, 5th Floor, L&C Tower 401 Church St., Nashville, TN 37243

Phone: (615) 532-0868

Email: robert.nakamoto@state.tn.us



Louis Bordenave - Manager of Planning, Reporting and Waste Reduction

Phone: (615) 532-0095

Area of Responsibility: Compliance and enforcement


TDEC Main Number

Phone: (615) 532-0104 or (888) 891-8332


More Resources