Waste Light Bulb Recycling Guidelines

Policy Statement:

SUNY ESF will collect and recycle all fluorescent, mercury vapor, metal halide and high-pressure sodium light bulbs used on campus.  While many of these bulbs may not actually be hazardous, they will be managed as hazardous waste under the Universal Waste rules, in a manner that prevents releases to the environment.


Bulb Collection

  • Once spent bulbs are removed by Physical Plant staff, they will be collected in designated rooms in each building as follows:
Building Designated rooms
Baker Jahn basement janitor closet
Bray 3rd floor janitor closet
Illick 5th floor janitor closet and room 308
Jahn Basement janitor closet
Marshall B18 cage
Moon Basement janitor closet
Physical Plant Lamp area of stockroom
Walters 1st floor janitor closet in men’s room
  • The spent bulbs will be stored in separate boxes from the new bulbs.
  • Spent bulbs should be stored in the original packaging whenever possible.  Use the original dividers and pack the bulbs tightly to prevent breakage.
  • If the bulbs did not come in a cardboard box, or if it is no longer available, package them in a cardboard box with packing material to prevent breakage.
  • Boxes containing the used bulbs must be kept closed except when adding more bulbs.
  • Boxes must be labeled with the following information:  “Universal Waste – Lamps” and the date that the first used bulb was placed in the box.  Labels are available from the EHS Office.
  • When a box is full of spent bulbs, it will be sealed with tape.

Bulb Storage

  • The grounds crew will periodically check the above collection locations.  Any full boxes of used bulbs will be transported to the storage building at the Lafayette Road Experiment Station.

Bulb Recycling

  • The EHS Office will periodically check on the amount of bulbs at Lafayette Road, and when a sufficient number has been collected, a recycling firm will be scheduled to pick them up.
  • All bulbs will be sent for recycling within a year of the date on the collection box.
  • Bills of Lading will be used to ship the bulbs, and the EHS Office will maintain these records.


All ESF employees responsible for collecting and packaging Universal Waste light bulbs, including trades workers and cleaning staff, will undergo training in proper handling procedures.   The EHS Office will provide this training.

You may call the Environmental Health and Safety Office at 470-6964 or 470-6896 with any questions. We appreciate your efforts to promote this environmentally responsible program.


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