Quick Facts

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

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Recycling Options Available in Washington


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 Washington 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: Washington

Generator Exemption (CESQG): same

Where can waste from CESQG go? Waste may go to MSWLF if there is no local ban on lamp disposal

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

Other stringency or exemptions? same


State Regulatory Contacts


Robert Rieck - Hazardous Waste Specialist; Technical assistance/regulations

Agency Address: Department of Ecology, Environmental Assessment Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504

Phone: (360) 407-6751



Maria Victoria Peeler - Senior Environmental Specialist

Phone: (360) 407-6704

Area of Responsibility: Mercury policy issues


Mike Gallagher - PBT (Persistent Bio accumulative/Toxic Substances) Coordinator

Phone: (360) 407-6868

Email: MGAL461@ecy.wa.gov


Tom Cusack - Hazardous Waste Specialist

Phone: (360) 407-6755 ext.6348(TEMP)

Area of Responsibility: Regulations


Ty Thomas - Technical Assistance and Policy Unit Supervisor

Phone: (360) 407-6758

Area of Responsibility: General info


Susan McDonald - King County Employee

Phone: (206) 263-3059

Area of Responsibility: King County


Hazardous Substance Information Line

Phone: 1-800-633-7585


Recycling Information Line

Phone: 1-800-732-9253


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