How to dispose of Fluorescent Tubes

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Posted by Keith Hirst on 27 April 2017

When a bulb goes, it’s a pain and sometimes we can be guilty of leaving the replacement for weeks! So when it comes to fluorescent tubes, Thompson Fuel and Skip Hire can understand you might be slightly concerned with knowing what to do with it! This article will cover how to safely dispose of these potentially hazardous tubes.


Are fluorescent tubes hazardous?

Externally, these tubes are not hazardous. However, the inside contains mercury and it’s used to cause a short-wave ultraviolet light, in order for the luminescent coating to glow. These fluorescent lights are used because they’re much more efficient than incandescent bulbs.  


How do I dispose of them?

It’s really not that complicated. You can remove them from the fittings, as long as you have a safe way to reach them and are careful not to break them during removal. Make sure the power is turned off before attempting to remove the fluorescent tube. Get a safe support so you can reach the fixture, make sure your hands are close to the ends of the tube and rotate 90 degrees. Once the tube is unlocked, remove from the fitting and put this tube somewhere safe, to ensure it doesn’t end up broken or roll off a shelf.

Do not put a fluorescent tube in your usual bin or recycling. Get in touch with a specialised recycling facility, they will be able to dispose of these correctly for you. However, if they are broken they will not be accepted.


What should I do if it breaks?

If you do accidently drop the tube whilst removing it or it rolls off a shelf and breaks, it’s important everyone including pets, evacuate the room. Open all windows, turn off any air conditioning/heating in order to keep the toxins in just that one room.

When clearing up the breakage it’s important that you do not touch it, you may use thick rubber gloves to pick it up and tape for smaller specks. Place all parts into an airtight container, and only then can a safe disposal team collect your broken fluorescent tube.


Thompson Fuel & Skip Hire are a dedicated team, here to ensure your safety. We’re providers of skip hire, recycling & waste management working across Armthorpe, Doncaster, Rossington and Bessacarr for domestic & commercial customers. If you have any queries, get in touch today – we will be happy to assist!

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