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Storage of Waste Products that Contain Mercury

Waste Mercury-Containing Product Handling and Storage Guidelines for Commercial and Institutional Facilities

  • All employees who handle or manage mercury-added products shall be informed of proper handling and emergency procedures.
  • Store mercury added products (fabricated products) in a designated area which is separate from solid waste disposal. (fabricated products do not include elemental mercury or mercury compounds)
  • Signs must be posted on the storage area that are clearly visible.
  • Properly identify mercury-added products by labeling each collection container with, “(Waste) or (Used) or (Universal Waste) Mercury-Containing products.”
  • Store containers for no more than one year.
  • Broken mercury-added devices must be managed as a hazardous waste. At a minimum, the device, the released mercury and cleanup debris should be sealed in a plastic bag and transferred to a closed compatible container labeled “Hazardous Waste” (with a description of the contents).

Mercury-Containing Lamps

  • Do not crush mercury-added lamps. Lamps should be stored in ways that avoid breakage as crushing releases mercury vapors that may pose health and environmental risks. Broken lamps are hazardous waste.
  • Mercury-added lamps should be placed in packaging functionally equivalent to that used to ship new lamps. (Lamp recyclers can provide adequate containers for collection).
  • Seal full packages with tape (Do not tape lamps together). Label packages with wording such as “Waste (or Used) Mercury-Containing Lamps(s)” or “Universal Waste Mercury-Containing Lamps”
  • Store packages of lamps no more than five (5) feet high.

Additional Information on Storage and Disposal Options

  • Contact your local municipality or solid waste district.
  • See the following environmental fact sheets:
    • Fluorescent Lamps: Handling and Disposal Guidelines
    • Waste Mercury-Added Devices: Handling and Disposal Guidelines.

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