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How to properly dispose of waste bulbs

Light bulbs that are no longer usable are considered universal waste and must be recycled.

USPS has a message for employees and contractors: Don’t simply toss away light bulbs when they are no longer usable.

Most light bulbs — including fluorescent, compact fluorescent, high-intensity discharge (HID), light-emitting diode (LED), neon and ultraviolet lamps — contain mercury, toxic metals and other hazardous materials.

Consequently, the Postal Service considers these items universal waste that must be recycled.

Facilities must also ensure employees who manage waste bulbs are properly trained.

To recycle HID and LED bulbs, facilities must:

• Store universal waste bulbs in closed containers that are clearly labeled.

• Arrange for off-site recycling within 365 days of the original waste generation date.

• Recycle waste bulbs with Cleanlites Recycling, the organization’s national service provider.

• Use Mailback recycling containers or arrange for on-site pickup. Both options are available through Cleanlites in eBuy Plus.

Incandescent and halogen bulbs can be disposed of in the trash or dumpster since they are typically nonhazardous and don’t contain mercury or toxic metals.

The Waste Light Bulbs and Lamps Blue page has additional information.