How to safely dispose of fluorescent lights

Fluorescent tubes and bulbs and high-intensity discharge lamps such as metal halide and mercury vapour lamps contain mercury, which is a highly toxic substance.

Mercury is the most toxic pollutant, after radioactive substances, on the Environmental Protection Authority’s list of industrial pollutants. It is extremely harmful to humans and it’s essential that mercury does not enter the environment.

Spent lighting products are the largest source of mercury contamination in municipal landfills. Australians consume 50 to 60 million fluorescent tubes and high-intensity discharge lamps each year and less than 1% is recycled. This results in over 10,000 tonnes of mercury being dumped into landfills across Australia every year.

Over time, mercury in disposed fluorescent tubes can be converted by the action of heat and bacteria into a very toxic and volatile form, known as methyl mercury, and this toxic gas can be spread by the wind.

In a nutshell, collection and recycling of fluorescent tubes keeps everybody safe, improves our environment and reduces landfill.

Fluorescent bulbs can be disposed of at the following locations:

  • Community Recycling Centre – Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre, 313 Wyrallah Road, East Lismore
  • Nimbin Transfer Station, Blade Road, Nimbin

The service is free for small volumes however a charge applies for bulk quantities. All fluorescent tubes and bulbs are accepted.