How to Dispose of Fluorescent Tubes?

Fluorescent Tube Stack

Fluorescent tubes are one of the most commonly used types of lighting in commercial and industrial settings. Therefore can make up a large quantity of your business waste. However old fluorescent tubes are hazardous waste due to the mercury vapour and phosphor powder inside the old bulbs. These hazardous materials need to be disposed of properly and cannot be placed in your normal UK black bin.Here's a quick guide on how to properly dispose of fluorescent lamps.

Fluorescent Bulb Recycling

Disposing of waste fluorescent tubes properly is crucial for the environment. Old Fluorescent tube recycling helps keep toxins like mercury out of the atmosphere. The good news is fluorescent tube recycling is widely available in the UK and there are opportunities to recycle them by taking them to a recycling centre. Bulbs contain, glass, aluminium and phosphor, all of which can be extracted from the lightbulbs. These materials can be used to make new products, for example new light bulbs. 

 When fluorescent lamps are recycled, it reduces waste in landfills and helps contribute to a more sustainable commerce cycle. So if you ever find fluorescent tubes lying around, make sure to dispose of them properly at a fluorescent tube recycling centre. Contact your local council to see how to recycle fluorescent bulbs near you.

Fluorescent Tube Disposal Service

A very convenient option for fluorescent tube disposal, is to hire a specialist service to collect the old light bulbs and dispose of them for you. This service will be more expensive but you are paying for collection of the waste lamps and they will use the correct disposal methods for the fluorescent bulbs. In most cases the bulbs will be recycled as described above. Always contact and look at reviews for any business you look to use. 

Just Hire has partnered with a specialist service to collect and dispose of fluorescent tubes! 

What are Fluorescent Tubes?

Fluorescent tubes, also known as a fluorescent light or fluorescent lamps, are a type of lighting that are energy efficient and cost effective. A fluorescent bulb works by using an electric current to excite mercury atoms in a glass tube filled with argon and other gases. This causes the electrons within the tube to release energy which then produces light when it passes through the phosphor coating inside the tube. As a result, fluorescent tubes use a lot less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and produces much more light per watt of electricity consumed. 

They also last longer than regular bulbs, making them an economically efficient and environmentally friendly choice for many households and businesses.

Why Dispose of Fluorescent Tubes Properly?

You need to think about your fluorescent tube disposal. Disposing fluorescent tubes improperly can have significant environmental repercussions, as fluorescent bulbs contain several types of mercury, a toxic element that negatively affects our atmosphere. If fluorescent tubes are not recycled or discarded properly, the mercury content will be released into the environment, leading to contamination of the air and water supplies.

 Ultimately reducing air quality and posing serious threats to human health. By properly disposing fluorescent tubes, we can prevent unnecessary exposure to hazardous substances, like mercury, that disrupt the natural balance of ecosystems. Furthermore, disposing fluorescent tubes responsibly also conserves valuable resources that would otherwise be wasted. Ultimately, ensuring proper disposal of fluorescent tubes is beneficial for both humans and our environment in multiple ways.

Can Fluorescent Tubes be Placed in a Skip?

No fluorescent bulbs cannot be placed in a skip, just like waste electronic equipment, batteries or other WEEE waste, they are seen as hazardous waste, due to the mercury content. If you do place fluorescent bulbs in a skip, the skip company will either refuse skip collection or will charge you a large fine to have a specialist dipose of the lamps safely. Do not chance it and use the fluorescent bulb disposal options above for your fluorescent tube disposal.


Whether you’re a business owner or a homeowner, it’s important to know how to dispose of your fluorescent bulbs properly. Recycling them is the best way to keep harmful toxins out of the atmosphere. Luckily, there are many recycling centres and professional services that will take your old fluorescent tubes off your hands. Do your part to help by recycling your fluorescent bulbs next time they need to be disposed of. 

Key Points

  1. Do not throw away fluorescent lights into your black bin or recycling

  2. Look for fluorescent tube recycling centres near you

  3. Use a fluorescent tube disposal service

Author: Spencer Murphy

Date: 9/10/2022

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