It is important that fluorescent lighting tubes and bulbs are stored and handled properly to minimise exposure to mercury dust and vapour. Older lamps may also contain other damaging metals such as copper, aluminium, barium and cadmium compounds. Careful storage of fluorescent lighting includes to:
- Mark lamps as waste in weatherproof containers
- Pack tubes neatly and to minimise movement and breakage
- Keep storage room temperatures low
Fluorescent light disposal regulations
WEEE regulations state that is illegal to dispose of fluorescent lamps, bulbs and tubing at landfill sites. The eco-friendly waste management option is fluorescent light recycling. This includes the extraction of the glass and metal components. The elemental mercury is then distilled so that the lamps can be reused safely.