Did you know that all types of lamps can be recycled? It is important to recycle lamps to decrease the large quantity of hazardous and reusable materials (such as metal) that is currently going to waste in our landfills.

A wide variety of energy-efficient mercury-containing light bulbs are becoming popular both within the household and business setting. Some examples include:

  • Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) and other fluorescent lamps (straight, U-bend, circular)
  • Neon/argon lamps
  • High intensity discharge lamps (HIDs) which include mercury vapor bulbs, metal halides and high pressure sodium lights

There are many environmental and human health benefits to purchasing these low-mercury lamps:

  • Lower toxicity concentrations: reduces mercury discharges from coal-burning power plants due to decreased electricity usage
  • Conserve natural resources: helps us make the most of our non-renewable resources and reduces environmental footprint associated with manufacturing lamps like carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, cancer and asthma-causing air pollution
  • Save money: lamps last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and help lower energy bills

However, it is especially important to properly dispose of lamps that contain mercury. These types of lamps are considered universal waste because the lamp’s toxic heavy metals can seep into our soil or waterways, leading to mercury poisoning and other diseases in humans and animals alike. Additionally, during the disposal process, many lamps break which expose waste handlers to mercury vapor.

During the recycling process, lamps are crushed and the materials are separated under a continuous vacuum filtration process. A typical lamp is usually made up of 4 elements, each of which can be reused for other purposes.

  • 80%-90% Glass: reuse for a variety of applications like furnace linings, new lamps, etc.
  • 7%-14% Metal (includes aluminum, wire filament, etc.) & Plastic: reuse for electronics
  • 1%-3% Lamp Phosphor Powders: reuse for new lamps
  • 0.01% Mercury (if purified): reuse for new lamps or other industrial processes


PureWay carries the following lamp recycling solutions: 4-Foot Lamp Recycling Box8-Foot Lamp Recycling Box & Compact Fluorescent Lamp or Miscellaneous Lamp Recycling Box. To order, call 877-765-3030 or visit the PureWay Store.