Proper Disposal of Fluorescent Light Bulbs
This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

Form #:  00-017
Guidance Documents
Revised: 12/12/16

Land disposal of unregulated hazardous waste is prohibited in Nebraska. Many questions have been raised regarding the proper disposal of fluorescent light tubes and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) at permitted disposal areas.

In General:
  • Households that generate both hazardous and non-hazardous fluorescent light tubes and CFLs can dispose of them in unlimited quantities in a municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill.
  • All businesses, regardless of generator status, that generate fluorescent light tubes and CFLs that do not contain mercury can dispose of them in unlimited quantities in a MSW landfill. This also applies for fluorescent light tubes and CFLs that contain mercury but do not test hazardous for mercury due to reduced levels.
  • Businesses that are classified as Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQG) that generate fluorescent tubes and CFLs containing mercury that are determined to be a hazardous waste by testing or knowledge of the manufacturing process, are limited in the quantities of these waste that may be disposed of in a MSW landfill. CESQGs may only dispose of these wastes in quantities up to 19.5 kg (43 lbs) per day at a MSW landfill. This is approximately 75 four-foot tubes. (See Title 132 – Integrated Solid Waste Management Regulations for definitions)
  • Small or Large Quantity Generators (SQG, LQG) are not allowed to dispose any quantity of tubes or CFLs that are determined to be hazardous waste at a MSW landfill.
NDEQ recommends checking with your local MSW Landfill, waste handler or local health department prior to disposal of Fluorescent light tubes and CFLs, as local city or county ordinances may be more stringent. NDEQ also suggests recycling your bulbs when and where ever possible.

For related information, please refer to
Title 128 - Nebraska Hazardous Waste Regulations.


RESOURCES:
Contacts:
  • NDEQ Waste Management Section - (402) 471-4210
  • NDEQ Toll Free Number - (877) 253-2603
  • NDEQ Hazardous Waste Compliance Assistant - (402) 471-8308
  • Email questions to: NDEQ.moreinfo@nebraska.gov
NDEQ Publications:

Produced by: Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922; phone (402) 471-2186. To view this, and other information related to our agency, visit our web site at http://deq.ne.gov.