Led White Logo
Ic1 Free Large USA Inventory
Ic1 Free Dedicated Sales Reps
Ic1 Free Responsive Support

You’ll find tube lights in many applications. Such as office buildings, hallways, garages and anywhere that has a low, flat ceiling. Although fluorescent tubes contain small amounts of mercury, you still want to avoid breaking them.

Whether you are replacing burnt out fluorescent tubes or switching over to a LED, there is a proper way to do it. By following these steps, you will allow yourself to reduce any risk.

Let’s answer some common questions and issues that people seem to face when replacing fluorescent tubes.

Why does recycling fluorescent tubes matter?

By recycling, you opt-in for environmentally friendly switching out old tubes. If you choose not to recycle, you are allowing toxic mercury to enter the environment. Which of course is not good.

Not only do you prevent mercury from entering the environment, but you also reduce waste. How exactly? Part of the tube can be recycled in new tubes. This allows for less waste and this goes back to the saying “Reduce, Reused, Recycle.” So fluorescent tube recycling prevents waste from entering the landfill.

How should I handle my fluorescent tubes?

By recycling, you opt-in for environmentally friendly switching out old tubes. If you choose not to recycle, you are allowing toxic mercury to enter the environment. Which of course is not good.

Not only do you prevent mercury from entering the environment, but you also reduce waste. How exactly? Part of the tube can be recycled in new tubes. This allows for less waste and this goes back to the saying “Reduce, Reused, Recycle.” So fluorescent tube recycling prevents waste from entering the landfill.

Here is what you can do to prepare for the removal of fluorescent fixtures:

  • Remove all other persons (and pets) from the immediate area – don’t allow anyone in until complete
  • Have proper ventilation. This is only needed in case you break a tube. But it’s always better to have air flow throughout instead of after a mess occurs
  • Have clean up supplies in place – face mask, wet paper towel, and a bag to put broken glass in
  • Ensure a safe and steady area – you don’t want anything to mess you up!

And for one thing that you should always remember for dealing with a broken tube is this: NEVER VACUUM. By vacuuming, you make mercury dust airborne.

Where to recycle fluorescent light bulbs and tubes?

To put it simply, you are going to need to find a drop off location that allows for you to drop off fluorescent tubes.

The easiest way to find a location near you, check out Earth911 website. It allows you to search what you need to recycle and where you’re located. So you go to that tool, type in ‘fluorescent’ or ‘CFL’ along with your location. It will display the closest place to recycle fluorescent tubes. (along with anything else you may want to recycle).

What will replace your existing tubes?

If you are in the process of disposing and recycling your fluorescent tubes, what is going in there to replace the ones you are removing? If the answer is “more fluorescent tubes,” may we ask why?

If fluorescent’s are dangerous, why do you want to reinstall more into your building? By switching to a safe lighting like LED you solve many issues of fluorescent lights. Like getting rid of mercury, reduce energy costs, and getting higher quality light.

So before you install more fluorescent tubes, you may want to consider an LED alternative.

Replacing the entire fixture with Panels and Troffer

Retrofit the fixture using LED tubes

Replace the fluorescent tubes with LED Magnetic Strips

Conclusion

With all that said, fluorescent light bulb recycling can be a lot easier (and safer) than one might think. By taking steps to plan and prevent mistakes, you mitigate most of the risk that comes with fluorescent tube disposal / recycling.

Dwayne Kula

 

Linkedin Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram

About the Author

Dwayne Kula is President of LED Lighting Supply. On any given day, Dwayne is writing content for the site and helps manage the marketing initiatives that are on-going. He has a Software Engineering degree and still dabbles in writing software for the company as needed. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, working out, playing the occasional game of golf and exploring New England.

See more posts by Dwayne Kula