Q:

How does fluorescent tube recycling work?

A:

Quick Answer

State and local waste collection agencies and retailers such as Ikea, Home Depot and Lowe's accept fluorescent tubes for recycling. In addition, companies that recycle light bulbs sell kits that allow customers to mail in broken fluorescent tubes.

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Full Answer

Fluorescent tubes contain mercury and other substances harmful to the environment. Recycling the tubes prevents these substances from polluting landfills and other outdoor spaces. In addition, glass, metal and electrical wiring from fluorescent tubes may be reused after arriving at recycling centers. As of 2015, states including California, Vermont and Minnesota require residents to recycle fluorescent tubes that contain mercury.

Residents should contact state and local waste collection agencies for specific regulations pertaining to the disposal of harmful substances. Some agencies charge a fee for pick-up, while others provide free pick-up and recycling services. Retailers may collect fluorescent tubes only at specific retail locations.

Businesses such as EverLights, EcoLights and Lampmaster offer fluorescent tube recycling for a fee. Each company provides recycling kits that include a shipping box, zip ties and prepaid shipping labels to customers. Available in a variety of sizes, each box holds a specific number of fluorescent tubes.

Some states and local municipalities do not require fluorescent tube recycling, but may require residents to wrap tubes in plastic before placing them in garbage cans.

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