Fluorescent tube disposal UK is governed by the WEEE Regulations Act of 2014. This was passed due to rising landfill costs and higher recycling targets.
The items covered under this act are varied but include most electrical household items such as fridges, toasters, cookers and lightbulbs to name a few.
In the UK over a million tonnes of electrical waste is produced each year. That is just by Industry and doesn’t include household waste. Which if included almost doubles this figure to just under 2 million tonnes.
Due to the components in these devices, much of this WEEE Waste is classified as Hazardous Waste. To safely dispose of this material you need to use a licensed recycling service.
Fluorescent tubes pose a major problem to the Environment, if not dealt with correctly. Bulbs contain mercury which if broken can leach into watercourses and contaminate drinking water.
For domestic enquiries, your local household hazardous waste recycling centre may be able to help.
All commercial fluorescent lighting disposal, however, must be carried out by a light bulb recycling company.
Fluorescent Lamp Storage
The major threat posed to both the environment and to personal health by fluorescent lamps is the potential for breakages.
These can release toxic dust into the air and mercury into watercourses. It is estimated that a single broken bulb can contaminate up to 10,000 litres of drinking water.
Any damage or breakage of fluorescent tubes could see people being exposed to mercury dust and vapour. It's odourless, invisible and vaporises at room temperature.
Other contaminants can include copper, aluminium, barium and cadmium compounds. Most of these are only found in older lamps.
When it comes to the storage of fluorescent lamps, all businesses should take measures to minimise any threat posed to health and the environment.
It is important that all fluorescent light bulbs are safely packed together in waterproof storage boxes or coffins. Ideally, these would be kept inside.
You should NEVER smash the bulbs deliberately prior to packing them.
If possible keep the lamps stored at room temperature.