Mercury lights: LightRecycle
We oversee LightRecycle Washington, a program that allows residents and businesses to recycle fluorescent and other mercury-containing lights for free.
LightRecycle Washington allows Washington residents and businesses to recycle up to 10 mercury-containing lights per day for free at certain locations across the state. Recycling mercury-containing lights is important to protect human health and the health of the environment.
Guidance for businesses
Disposing of mercury-containing lights from a business
- Small businesses can recycle up to 10 lights a day through LightRecycle Washington. For larger businesses, find more information on how to handle mercury-containing lights.
What types of lights can I recycle?
- Homeowners and small businesses can recycle up to 10 compact fluorescent lights, fluorescent tubes up to 8 feet long, or High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights each day. Go to www.lightrecycle.org to find a location near you. Not all locations accept all types of lights. If the lights are broken, they must be placed in a plastic bag before being recycled.
Why should I be concerned about mercury lights?
- When broken, mercury lights release toxic mercury to the air, which accumulates in the environment. When a mercury-containing light bulb breaks, some of the mercury is immediately released to the air. The health impacts from mercury exposure are explained on the Department of Health mercury page.
Environmental handling charge
- The LightRecycle program is paid for with an environmental handling charge on each new mercury-containing light sold. The charge, currently 95 cents per bulb, helps to ensure that these lights are recycled or properly disposed of at the end of their useful lives.
About LightRecycle Washington
- LightRecycle Washington is the recycling program for fluorescents and other mercury-containing lights. LightRecycle Washington is run by PCA Product Stewardship Inc., a nonprofit organization chosen by light manufacturers to manage their responsibilities under Washington's mercury-containing lights product stewardship program.
Cleaning up a broken CFL
- See the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's information on cleaning up broken fluorescent lights.