SUBJECT: Lamp Disposal Procedures

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has declared that various types of lamps must be recycled because they contain mercury. If these lamps are burned or thrown into landfills, the mercury in them can be released into the environment, where contamination problems occur. The four type of lamps of concern are:

  • Fluorescent lamps
  • High- and Low-pressure mercury vapor lamps
  • Sodium-vapor lamps
  • High intensity discharge (HID) lamps

Effective immediately all such lamps can not be placed in dumpsters or other waste receptacles for disposal. The methods to be used by all campus employees and students for recycling lamps is as follows:

  • All lamps shall be placed in the cardboard sleeve or box in which replacement lamps arrived, preferably without packing material. Care should be taken in packaging all lamps to reduce breakage during further handling and transport. Different length lamps should be packaged in separate containers. When boxes are full end tabs should be folded over and taped shut. The container shall be labeled in large, visible and legible letters with the following information: USED LAMPS, total number of lamps in container, type (e.g. 4 foot fluorescent) of lamp and UW-La Crosse. For example, a label could read: "24 Used 4' fluorescent lamps, UW - La Crosse". Lamp recycling labels can be requested by contacing Environmental Health and Safety.

  • Lamps shall not be purposefully broken. When accidently broken use appropriate techniques and personal protective equipment to prevent cutting yourself. Place the broken lamp in a corrugated box wrapped in a plastic bag or in a plastic five-gallon pail with a tight fitting lid. In addition to the above information the statement: "Warning: broken glass enclosed - cutting hazard" or similar warning should be placed on the outside of the package.

  • Custodial Staff shall collect all labeled "USED LAMPS" which they replace or are given by other staff and store them in their lamp storage area. When receiving a delivery of new lamps from Campus Stores personnel, the "USED LAMPS" will be collected for recycling.

  • Custodial Staff Supervisors shall collect all labeled "USED LAMPS" and transport them to the designated storage location in the Maintenance Building.

  • Electricians or other Maintenance personnel that replace lamps shall transport the labeled "USED LAMPS" to the designated storage location in the Maintenance Building.

  • All other UW - La Crosse employees that replace lamps shall give the labeled "USED LAMPS" to a member of the Building Custodial Staff.

  • Students in resident halls or academic settings that replace lamps shall give the labeled "USED LAMPS" to the Custodial Staff, a staff member or a Resident Assistant.

  • The cost of recycling lamps will be billed by usage to major users - Physical Plant, Cartwright and Whitney Centers and Residence Life.