General FAQs

General Inquiry (2)


Lighting Resources recycles all lightbulb types including straight and compact fluorescent bulbs that contain mercury, incandescent, halogen, and LED.  We also process and recycle tritium exit signs, all types of batteries, PCB and non-PCB ballasts, and electronic waste

We do not accept scrap metal, glass, plastic, paper, or cardboard that is not a byproduct of the materials we do recycle like bulbs, batteries, or ballasts.

Recycling Pickup and Drop Off (3)

Recycling products may be dropped off at any of our 12 recycling centers. Simply call ahead and schedule an appointment to drop of materials we can accept.

Lighting Resources provides direct pick-up service to businesses with bulk processing needs. We operate a nationwide truck fleet and pick up via common carrier throughout the continental United states.

Mail-back recycling is one of the fastest growing trends among environmentally-conscious consumers and businesses because kits provide safe storage for recyclables that can be sealed and easily mailed for guaranteed and certified recycling. Check out our complete catalog of pre-paid recycling kits.

Lightbulb Recycling (5)

If you use our bulk recycling services, you will receive a PDF Certificate of Recycling by email after the material is processed by our recycling center. If you mail back your recycling with one of our EZ on the Earth recycling kits, you will receive instructions about where to access and download a PDF copy of the Certificate of Recycling within 3 days of the material being sent by FedEx and other parcel carriers for processing.

There are three primary types of bulbs in use today: incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and tubular fluorescent, and Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs.

Of these varieties, CFL and fluorescent tubes pose the most harm to the environment because they contain a small amount of mercury. Also known as a mercury-vapor lamp, fluorescent lamps discharge gas and product light when an electric arc courses through the vaporized mercury. While LED lights may not contain mercury, they may contain small amounts of lead and other metals, and significant amounts of plastics and electronics that should be kept out of the landfill.

Most curbside recyclers will not accept CFL and fluorescent bulbs, however they are recyclable, and it only requires a little extra effort to spare the environment from mercury contamination and make the material resources available for reuse.  Read our blog on CFL recycling to learn more about identifying and properly disposing of fluorescent bulbs.

The components used to make lightbulbs, primarily glass, metal, and phosphorus powder are recyclable and when managed properly, can be recycled into raw materials for manufacturing.  While incandescent and LED bulbs pose no danger to the environment, more than 2 billion lightbulbs are used every day in the U.S. (the average home uses 40), so the opportunity for material recovery and landfill diversion is significant.

Mercury-containing bulbs are regulated as a Universal Waste by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These regulations require most businesses to recycle or dispose of these wastes at permitted facilities within 12 months with a few exceptions. Check with state and local regulations, as they may be more strict

Step 1: Prepare the kit for waste materials.

  • Remove the straps from the folded cardboard box
  • Open the box and seal the bottom with 2-3” packing tape. Make sure the edges, corners, and flaps are properly sealed with tape.
  • If the kit contains a cardboard sleeve, insert the sleeve into the box.
  • 5-gallon Compact Fluorescent kits include a plastic pail with a screw on lid.

Step 2: Insert the protective liner.

  • Insert the poly liner inside the cardboard sleeve.
  • If the kit does not contain a cardboard liner, then place the poly liner inside the cardboard box, or the plastic pail.
  • The plastic liner must always be placed in the kit before any waste material is added.

Step 3: Properly fill the kit.

  • When the first lamp or bulb is placed in the container, write the accumulation date on the label, which is the date when waste was first placed in the recycling kit.
  • Lamps must be shipped to a recycling company within one year of the initial accumulation date.

Step 4: Properly store and close the kit between uses.

  • If you plan on placing more lamps in the container at a later date, twist the poly liner to seal.
  • Use the included Velcro tabs to seal the flaps of the box between uses.

Step 5: When you are ready, prepare the kit for shipment.

  • Seal the poly liner with the enclosed zip tie.
  • Use packing tape to ensure the liner has an air-tight seal.
  • If your kit was shipped to you in a cardboard box, place the pail back into the shipping box.
  • Securely tape the top flaps of the box with 2-3” of packing tape.
  • Make sure all edges, corners, and flaps are properly sealed with tape.

Step 6: Use the red prepaid FedEx Ground shipping label

  • Each kit comes with a red FedEx prepaid return shipping label. The kit must be shipped via FedEx Ground only.
  • The red FedEx prepaid return shipping label will be located with the instructions enclosed in the kit or will be affixed to the kit itself.

Step 7: Fill in the shipping information

  • In the “From” section, fill in your company name and required information.
  • Add the Accumulation Date, which is the date when waste was first placed in the recycling kit.

Step 8: Call FedEx Ground

  • Contact FedEx Ground at 1.800.463.3339 to schedule pick up using a pre-paid label or schedule pickup online at fedex.com/returnpickup.

Battery Recycling (5)

Batteries contain a range of toxic materials including mercury, silver, nickel, cadmium, and lithium, and are generally regulated as Universal Waste, a category of hazardous waste, by the federal government. Batteries should be collected, recycled, and processed so they don’t leach toxic material into waste sites and landfills, which could eventually reach our drinking water. When in doubt, recycle all types of batteries including:

  • Lithium
  • Alkaline
  • Nickel metal hydride
  • Nickel cadmium
  • Zinc carbon
  • Lead acid

There are several rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries that should be properly recycled to reuse their metals and plastics in new products.

Rechargeable batteries:

Lithium-ion (Li-ion)

How to identify: Small, dry-cell batteries that are sealed, rechargeable, come in custom sizes in a hard-plastic case, and have small-cylinder, button cells
Common uses: Cell phones, laptop computers, power tools, hybrid automobiles, video cameras, and handheld electronics
Safety: Non-spillable and non-toxic

Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd)

How to identify: Small, dry-cell batteries that are sealed and rechargeable, usually AAA, AA, C, D, small-cylinder, poly-wrapped cell packs, or custom sizes in a hard-plastic case
Common uses: Cell phones, laptop computers, power tools, handheld electronics, toys, R/C hobby vehicles, and medical equipment
Safety: Non-spillable. Contains cadmium, which is a toxic heavy metal, so never incinerate because it produces toxic cadmium vapors.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)

How to identify: Small, dry-cell batteries that are sealed and rechargeable, can be AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt, 12 volt, small-cylinder, poly-wrapped cell packs, or custom sizes
Common uses: Cell phones, laptop computers, power tools, hybrid automobiles, cameras, handheld electronics, and R/C hobby vehicles
Safety: Non-spillable and non-toxic

Lead Acid Gel

How to identify: Small to medium-sized, dry-cell batteries that are sealed and rechargeable, usually rectangular or custom sizes in a hard-plastic case
Common uses: Wheelchairs, scooters, golf carts, ride-on electric toys, boats, RVs, military aircraft, portable tools and instruments
Safety: Non-spillable gelled electrolyte. Contains lead, which is a toxic heavy metal and can cause fire if short-circuited
Non-rechargeable batteries:

Alkaline and Zinc Carbon

How to identify: Small dry-cell batteries that are sealed and non-rechargeable, usually AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt or button cells. Zinc carbon batteries are labeled general purpose or heavy duty
Common uses: Cameras, toys, watches, handheld electronics
Safety: Non-spillable and non-toxic, and can leak with age

Lithium (Primary)

How to identify: Small dry-cell batteries that are sealed and non-rechargeable, usually AAA, AA, 9-volt, small cylinder, button cells, or custom sizes
Common uses: Watches, cameras, handheld electronics, tire-pressure sensors, alarms, memory backup, high-temperature applications, pacemakers, and remote car locks
Safety: Non-spillable and non-toxic, and can overhead or explode if short-circuited

Mercury

How to identify: Small dry-cell batteries that are sealed and non-rechargeable, usually AA, 9 volt, small cylinder, button cells, or custom sizes
Common uses: Cameras, medical devices, and military equipment
Safety: Non-spillable and toxic. Contains mercury, which is a toxic heavy metal, so never incinerate because it produces highly toxic vapors.

Silver Oxide

How to identify: Small to large dry-cell batteries that are sealed and non-rechargeable, usually button cells, high voltage, small cylinder, or large custom sizes
Common uses: Watches, hearing aids, cameras, torpedoes, and aircraft
Safety: Non-spillable and non-toxic

Zinc Air

How to identify: Small dry-cell batteries that are sealed and non-rechargeable, usually button cells, 9-volt, or custom sizes
Common uses: Watches, hearing aids, and electric vehicles that are mechanically recharged
Safety: Non-spillable and non-toxic

Battery terminals must be fully insulated with clear tape to prevent short circuits, or sparks, and potential fires. The Federal Department of Transportation requires that all terminals are taped for most types of batteries. Always insulate battery terminals with non-conductive tape before sending them back.

Many types of batteries are regulated as a Universal Waste by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These regulations require most businesses to recycle or dispose of these wastes at permitted facilities within 12 months with a few exceptions. Check with state and local regulations, as they may be more strict.

All of our EZ on the Earth kits come with complete instructions for packing and mailing recyclable materials.

Step 1: Properly fill and insulate the recycling kit.

  • Before putting any batteries in the container, place the poly liner inside the insulation.
  • When the first battery is placed in the container, write the accumulation date on the label.
  • Fully insulate battery terminals for all batteries except alkaline and zinc carbon batteries that are 9-volts or less.
  • If you plan to place more batteries in the container at a later date, twist the poly liner to seal the container and screw the lid shut between uses.
  • Do not remove the fireproof insulation inside the container.

Step 2: When you are ready, prepare the kit for return.

  • Seal the poly liner with the enclosed zip tie.
  • Use packing tape to ensure the liner has a complete air-tight seal.
  • Ensure that the filled poly liner remains inside the fireproof insulation.
  • Place the insulation plug on top of the sealed bag.
  • Screw on the lid.

Step 3: Prepare the kit for shipment.

  • If your recycling kit was shipped to you in a cardboard box, place the full, sealed container back into the cardboard box.
  • Securely tape the top flaps of the box with 2-3’’ packing tape.
  • Make sure all edges, corners, and flaps are properly sealed with tape.

Step 4: Use the red prepaid FedEx Ground shipping label

  • Each kit comes with a red FedEx prepaid return shipping label. The kit must be shipped via FedEx Ground only.
  • The red FedEx prepaid return shipping label will be located with the instructions enclosed in the kit or will be affixed to the kit itself.

Step 5: Fill in the shipping information

  • In the “From” section, fill in your company name and required information.
  • Check the box for Batteries.
  • Add the Accumulation State Date, which is the date when waste was first placed in the recycling kit.

Step 6: Call FedEx Ground

  • Contact FedEx Ground at 1.800.463.3339 to schedule pick up using a pre-paid label or schedule pickup online at fedex.com/returnpickup.

Exit Sign and Smoke Detector Recycling (4)

Self-powered radioactive exit signs and smoke detectors contain mildly radioactive material. In both cases, radioactivity can escape from devices that are disposed of improperly.

The bright red exit signs that direct people to exits in commercial buildings are manufactured with a radioactive gas that allows them to glow in the dark, even if the power goes out. This radioactive gas called tritium needs to be properly disposed of because it can cause serious contamination. All tritium exit signs are clearly labeled with a yellow label, red print, and a radioactive symbol. These labels include the make, model, serial number, manufacturing date, and expiration date. This information will be required when you dispose of a tritium exit sign for recycling.

Step 1: Order a kit for recycling

  • Contact us at 855-EARTH55 to tell us how many tritium signs you need to recycle.
  • We will provide a quote for the kit and a form to complete

Step 2: Complete the tritium exit sign form.

  • Provide the information on the label of each tritium exit sign.
  • We will apply for an approval number for each exit sign, and once we receive it, we will send a recycling kit.

Step 3: Package and ship your tritium exit signs for recycling

  • Carefully package the tritium exit signs per the included instructions.
  • Once exit signs are properly packaged, seal the container and call FedEx Ground for pickup using the red prepaid shipping label.
  • Send the included notification forms to the NRC and your state, and keep the documents for your record.

We also offer an EZ Tritium Recycling option that lets you opt for us to handle the notification process to the NRC and your state. This option costs a little more per sign, but helps make sure the government is notified correctly.

Ionization smoke detectors use a small amount of radioactive material, americium-241, to detect smoke. Intact smoke detectors must be shipped intact to facilities specifically licensed to recycle smoke detectors.

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