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Fluorescent Light Bulb Disposal (Tubes and CFLs)

The City provide Longmont residents with a Household Hazardous Waste Event each Fall. If you can't make the event, the following information has been compiled. This is not a complete list of recycling options for Longmont residents or businesses and inclusion on this list does not mean that the City promotes the businesses. Please call locations to find out about programs and fees. To have your business added to the list, please call the P2 Program.

Residential:

Bulb Recycling:

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) ONLY:

Ace Hardware 1727 Main Street

Home Depot 393 S. Hover

Lowe's 355 Ken Pratt

Fluorescent Tubes and CFLs (bring your utility bill to show you are a Longmont resident):

Household Hazardous Waste Events Airport Road (Fall event)

Boulder County Household Hazardous Wastes in Boulder

Ballasts Recycling:

Household Hazardous Waste Events (no PCPs) Airport Road (Fall event)

Batteries Plus 1020 Ken Pratt

More information on recycling and other locations outside of Longmont:

Ecocycle

Businesses:

Bulbs:

Boulder County Business Recycling 1901 63rd Ave in Boulder

Ballasts Recycling:

Batteries Plus 1020 Ken Pratt

Wise Recycling 622 Missouri

More information on recycling and other locations outside of Longmont:

Ecocycle

P2 Program

501 East 1st Avenue

Longmont, CO 80501

Phone (303) 651-8667

email water@ci.longmont.co.us

Pollution Associated with Fluorescent Light Bulbs and Ballasts

Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury. Discarding used bulbs in the trash allows the mercury to enter the environment.

By the way, halogen bulbs do not contain mercury.

Ballasts are the small metal box-shaped devices that hold the fluorescent light bulbs. Ballasts are not the bulbs. They are recycled for metal. However, older styles may contain hazardous wastes like PCBs and DEHP which would require special handling for disposal.

 

Regulations Associated with Bulb Disposal

There are no regulations for residents. Small quantities of bulbs may be disposed of in the trash, but a preferred option would be to recycle them.

Businesses that generate hazardous wastes (large and small quantity generators and conditionally exempt generators: LQG, SQG, CESQG) are required to properly manage the disposal of fluorescent light bulbs according to the Colorado Hazardous Waste Regulations. Under these regulations, proper disposal is through a recycler. For a copy of the regulations concerning fluorescent light bulbs, contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. For a current list of local recyclers, refer to "Ecocyle's Guide to Hard-to-Recycle Materials" (http://www.ecocycle.org).

There are vendors that provide the recycling service upon purchase of new bulbs. Contact your light bulb vendor for more information.

There are low mercury fluorescent light bulbs available. These may not fall under the current disposal requirements. Contact manufacturers for more information. These bulbs would contain an amount of mercury that is below the hazardous waste determination level. Because there is still mercury in them, it is best to recycle.

Regulations Associated with Ballast Disposal

Businesses disposing of ballasts containing hazardous wastes may have special handling requirements. (These are not applicable to residents.)

Some older style ballasts contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and are regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Newer ballasts will be labeled "No PCBs". If the ballast is not labeled, assume it contains PCBs. Contact the Toxic Substance Control Act assistance information hotline at (303) 312-6312 for information on proper disposal.


Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the reportable quantity of PCB is once pound (about 10 ballasts) in a 24 hour period. Failure to report is a violation of CERCLA Section 103. Reporting does not absolve businesses from liability under CERCLA.
If the ballast is punctured, the PCB may leak. It will appear as a black oily substance. Leaking ballasts cannot be discarded in the trash. They (and all material to come into contact with the PCBs) must be incinerated. Contact the Toxic Substance Control Act assistance information hotline at (303) 312-6312 for information on proper disposal.

Some ballasts contain di (2-ethylhexyl) phathatlate (DEHP). This chemical is listed as a hazardous waste under the Resource Recovery Act. But once used in ballasts, it is no longer considered hazardous waste. Disposal need only be reported to the National Response Center (1-800-424-8802) if over 100 pounds of DEHP (about 1600 ballasts) is disposed in a 24 hour period.

 

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This page was updated August 16, 2013
City of Longmont Public Works & Natural Resources
Pollution Prevention Program