It’s far easier to get fined for improper universal waste storage than you might realize. When it comes to packaging mercury containing lamps we’ve seen it all: missing lids, utilizing the wrong container size, someone trying to store bulbs in an old suitcase, and even tubes hanging off the back of a truck like lumber. While not all are fineable offenses, here are 6 things NOT to do when packaging lamps.
1. No Container/ No lid
Lamps must be stored in a sealable container and that container should be closed.
2. Improper Container/ Improper Lamp Size
Lamps should be placed in the appropriate size container. No 8 ft lamps in a 4 foot drum, No 4’ lamps sticking out of a small box of mixed bulbs, and definitely no lamps in carry-on luggage.
3. Trash in Containers
It’s simple trash doesn’t belong with your recycling.
4. Water Damaged Containers
Damaged Containers may break during storage or transport causing broken lamps and mercury release.
5. Comingled Wastes
Waste streams should be separate. Likewise, certain lamps should be kept separate. Fluorescent bulbs should be separate from LED bulbs.
6. Taped Lamps
There is no need to tape lamps. It causes issues when processing.
Remember that according to the regulations, lamps must be packaged in a way that “prevents releases of any universal waste or component of a universal waste to the environment.” Storing your lamps in an appropriate manner not only keeps you in compliance and clear of fines, but streamlines processing on our end.