Over the past decade, fluorescent lamps have been steadily replacing conventional incandescent bulbs both in domestic terms and at the level of industrial enterprises and administrative premises. However, the disposal of energy-saving lamps for enterprises is an important task, since non-compliance with the rules and regulations threatens with penalties.

Why are fluorescent lamps so popular :

  • low cost of fluorescent lamps in relation to performance;
  • the quality of the luminous flux simulating daylight;
  • extended service life guaranteed by manufacturers;
  • low power consumption.

recycling of energy-saving lamps

Reasons for mandatory disposal of fluorescent lamps

A lot of positive aspects from the use of energy-saving lamps are complemented by one very significant drawback: during their production, a composition containing mercury is applied to the inner surface.

Depending on the country of manufacture, on power and generation, a fluorescent lamp may contain from 20 to 600 mg of mercury, which can be released when the bulb is mechanically damaged.

Once in the environment without proper pre-treatment, used fluorescent lamps cause serious harm to the environment. Organic mercury compounds accumulate in the soil, move with water resources, poison the air, causing intoxication of all living organisms.


Since the operation of energy-saving lamps allows the possibility of damage to the product, there are rules for the disposal of mercury and its compounds.

Demercurization for residential premises includes the following activities :

  • restriction of access to the contaminated area for children and animals:
  • ventilation of the room: the new composition of the air coming from the outside eliminates the danger of poisonous particles hanging in the room;
  • in addition to air exchange, the respiratory tract should be protected with a medical mask or gauze bandage;
  • be sure to put on gloves before picking up fragments;
  • vacuum cleaner, broom and dustpan can not be used. Particles of an energy-saving lamp should be collected on a newspaper with a brush when the floor is smooth. If mercury gets on the carpet or between the floorboards, it is collected with a medical pear. At the end of the cleaning, all inventory is put in a glass jar and tightly closed with a lid. You can use a sealed bag. After that, you need to take it to a highly toxic waste disposal station;
  • the final stage is wet cleaning with a solution of potassium permanganate (2 grams per liter of water).

disposal of fluorescent lamps

If we are talking about public premises (office, supermarket, production, warehouse, etc.), then everything is more complicated. Demercurization kits must be stored at industrial, office and commercial facilities illuminated by mercury-containing lamps. They include the necessary means to eliminate the hazard:

  • individual protective kit (rubber gloves, masks or respirators, shoe covers);
  • chemical reagents that bind the components of mercury compounds;
  • cleaning equipment;
  • detergents.

Before carrying out a set of measures to eliminate the source of pollution, employees are restricted from accessing the hazardous area, they notify the management of the facility, turn off the power supply and open the windows.

Further, with the help of means from the demercurization kit, the remains of energy-saving lamps are collected and chemically treated, followed by wet cleaning of the premises.

As in the case of residential facilities, the use of vacuum cleaners is not recommended: in addition to the fact that mercury vapor settles on the air intake and the internal parts of the device, the vacuum cleaner motor heats up the air and contributes to the intensive evaporation of toxic metal.

The collected waste is placed in an impermeable special container and disposed of in accordance with the rules for handling toxic substances.

If several fluorescent lamps are damaged, the staff is isolated, and the room is closed, sealing the gaps in the area of ​​​​the door frame with adhesive tape. The processing of such an object should be carried out by the demercurization service.

Upon completion of the work, the licensed laboratory analyzes the effectiveness of the measures taken.

The order of accumulation and storage

Used and discarded energy-saving lamps should be stored in specially equipped concrete areas, protected from possible flooding, precipitation, and exposure to aggressive chemical compounds. A separate condition is the mandatory presence of ventilation.

A waste warehouse is organized away from residential, office and industrial premises. Even short-term storage and accumulation of mercury-containing lamps is prohibited in rooms where people can be.

For the accumulation and storage of toxic waste, containers or racks are installed in the warehouse with a warning sign “Waste of hazard class I. Spent mercury-containing lamps.

Each lamp is placed in a separate factory packaging or wrapped in paper immediately after removal from the lamp, and sent to the warehouse.

If the shell of the energy-saving lamp has been damaged, then a special impervious special container is used. It is installed in a toxic waste storage facility. Broken lamps and used products for cleaning the territory from mercury compounds are taken to demercurization points within one day. Spent, but whole energy-saving lamps can be accumulated and stored for up to six months.

storage of fluorescent lamps
How to store lamps

Contract for the disposal of fluorescent lamps

The rules for handling production and consumption waste, approved by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 03.092.010 No. 681, oblige legal entities and individual entrepreneurs to conclude agreements for the disposal of highly toxic waste. An agreement is concluded with an enterprise with a recycling license, which specifies the rights and obligations of the contractor and contractor.

The staff of organizations that dispose of toxic waste must have specialized qualified specialists, as well as special equipment, special tools and devices to complete the full cycle of disposal, from documentation to disinfection and waste processing.

Punishment for non-compliance with the conditions for the disposal of highly toxic waste

Since the rules for handling highly toxic waste are fixed at the level of federal legislation, liability for their violation is also established by law. In Art. 82 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, liability measures are prescribed:

  • citizens are fined from 1 to 2 thousand rubles;
  • for legal entities, the amount of the fine varies from 100 to 250 thousand rubles;
  • officials bear liability in the range of 10-30 thousand rubles;
  • individual entrepreneurs are punished in the amount of 30 to 50 thousand rubles.

Additional sanctions may be applied to structures of a legal format and individual entrepreneurs: deprivation of the right to engage in their activities for up to three months by a court decision.

Regulations for the export of mercury-containing lamps

Highly toxic waste must be removed by specialized transport of an enterprise with which a disposal agreement has been signed, under the direct control of the person responsible for the circulation of toxic substances.

The out-of-service products are shipped exclusively mechanically in good weather, in the absence of outsiders at the loading site. In winter, icy patches of land are covered with sand.

The loading technology of fluorescent lamps formed for shipment prohibits:

  • damage the packaging
  • place any objects on top of containers with energy-saving lamps,
  • use tobacco while loading waste,
  • rough handling of containers – hitting, throwing, turning over.

No matter how trite it may sound, but all the rules and measures for the use, storage, processing and disposal of highly toxic substances are aimed at preventing an environmental catastrophe. The same vapors of poisonous mercury, having no smell, are able to accumulate in the body day after day without hindrance, affecting the central nervous system, liver, lungs, up to death.

Storage and disposal of energy-saving fluorescent lamps

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