Flourescent tubes

Well, I just took the 8 ft. Bulbs to Lowe’s and they don’t recycle 8 ft., just the smaller ones.

i looked at the local dump site and they don’t take them either.

I searched some more and see that some Batteries Plus stores take them but I have called the closest one yet and if it costs anything.

I searched again and there are boxes you can buy to mail back your tubes for a fee……lowest I saw was 50 bucks.

Geezus, I remember the day we just smashed in the metal dumpster at work. WTH?


That’s a problem with a lot of stuff now. It’s like they want you to dump them in a landfill.

Locally, they don’t take glass anymore. Aluminum, steel, paper, cardboard…yes. Glass, no. I’m not talking about redemption, just putting it in the recycle bin collected by the city. No dice.

I have been able to take 4’ tubes to HD for recycling. We don’t have the 8’ fixtures.

We do have locally a “hazardous waste drop off”. Paints, chemicals, and I would think fluorescent tubes. Maybe your town has that too?


Otherwise they’re gonna make you smash them in your bin for curbside collection (which probably is illegal, but what other choice do you have?).

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Wow… That’s the pits, as 1pg said, maybe a hazardous waste day at the local dumps, I took a PU load of old paint, propane tanks a few months back…

No they don’t take them at the city dump.

I came up with a plan to roll them in plastic, leftover from painting projects so they are large enough to cover them, and them take a cinder block to smash them down and I’ll put the whole thing in a big plastic bag. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Of course, I’ll wear gloves and a mask and do it in the dark of night.

For a homeowner who doesn’t have to change these kinds of things very often, it’s a PITA.

I did think about putting them on the train tracks nearby……you know that heavy gravel and rock they have underneath the tracks maybe would severely hinder any danger to the environment that’s not already there.

Outlaw Dog

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Exactly why, when the eight foot fluorescents in my old garage died I pulled the fixture down and replaced it with something else. In my case I was selling the house. I put up a simple fixture to screw in one bulb with a 100 watt equivalent LED bulb.


Did you dump the fluorescent fixture in the trash? :slight_smile:

That garage was built in the 80’s and these are the only tubes I’ve had to replace in all those years out of 6 fixtures. Sounds like a deal to me.

According to some sites are looked at, all lights should be recycle and not dumped in the trash. Even the small batteries to large batteries we used.

As it is, I did the deal, wrapped them in heavy plastic, used an heavy hand truck to smash it, heard a satisfying pop and crunched it up some more, rolled up the plastic and put it in the trash. Done! 10 minutes tops!

Outlaw Dog

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I reused fluorescent 4’ fixtures from several telco offices we cleaned out, so the garage has about 6 or 7, the shop has another dozen. I have replaced some of the failing 4’ tubes with LEDs, do much more light, I’ve let the others die out, retired in place. All have ballasts, but it’s not worth the time to remove them. rewire everything… The shop ones are actually all connived in 4 strings of 4 fixtures, wired to 3 switches in an alternating pattern so on or two switched cover different part of the shop… Anyway a lot of work putting them up, even more now because of all the tools n toys stashed there… Bt I can see great in there, I think there’s still a couple unused fixtures up in the rafters overhead…

As various tubes failed over the years, they went back in the box they came in, but some ended up either in trash bins at work or home… For now, they can stay where they are… Telco offices used hundreds, pretty sure they all went to the landfill…

I keep a canvas ‘battery bag’ in my office, any and all go in it, then if I remember, I take them to my local hardware shop.

If your town doesn’t have a hazardous waste drop-off, I would suggest replacing those fixtures rather than getting new tubes. Eventually you’ll have more fail, and will be in this situation again.

Unless you’re in a small town, I would think there is something available for you to dispose properly.


I take them to my local hardware shop.

Really? They’ll take alkaline batteries?

Right now, I use the battery dump at work. But I will need to find an alternative since my departure is imminent.

Yep, any batteries, from the little coin silver, to lead acid, no problem at all, also fluorescents, they sell 'em they take 'em, and beyond… A local chain of maybe 6 or 6 stores…

So, not HD or Lowes. A local place only. :frowning:

HD usually takes fluorescent tubes and other fixtures. I think they also take old cellphones with rechargeable batteries.

I can’t think of a local place around here. There are some specialty hardware shops, e.g. irrigation. ACE is the smallest shop I can think of, and there aren’t too many around anymore.

Best Buy used to have a bin near the entry, or Lowes… I wrote HD off after recent political revelations of the owner’s contributions… We have Lowes, and our local hardware shop, Freidman’s, I considered going to work for them when I retired, but slid past that thought but I do see, have gotten to know some of the retired guys that have gone to them, always fun to stir the pot a bit…

I misspoke there a4 now 4 stores, the original here in town burned way back, they moved on, expanded, have contributed greatly to the community, good employer, etc…



There was a dump site near enough our home to play when I was growing up and fluorescent tubes were especially prized when they were dropped off there. We would rescue them, stand them up on end, and then walk back 30 or 40 paces and throw rocks at them and watch them burst.

I was probably 13 at the time, and like most young boys entirely ignorant of things like “environment” or even “danger”. Heck, if I found a radioactive core I probably would have taken it home and tried to figure out how to make it power my go kart.

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I was probably 13 at the time, and like most young boys entirely ignorant of things like “environment” or even “danger”.

Kind of sad. As kids we use to have a blast doing all sorts of crazy stuff. If we did the same thing today they would write us off as either on the verge of death or crazy.

As an aside I remember as kids running or riding bicycles behind DDT trucks. Lots of fun but today it would be considered politically incorrect, an environmental disaster and ‘hey when are you going to give me a check for the damage you did to me?’.

Oh, well, those were the good ole days.


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As an aside I remember as kids running or riding bicycles behind DDT trucks

Ah yes, I remember that too. Our other not so great trick was to buy the smoke bombs you use to smoke moles out of the ground, tie them to the back of our bikes, light them, and ride around the neighborhood until they gave out. Woo-hoo! Sky King!


Yep, they made a satisfying POP n smoke… Here, tossed in the river, then toss rocs to break them was a challenge… But, local feldspar/mercury mines are pretty common, so my bet is that there is a lot more mercury in, or below the rivers & SF Bay ha most suspect… BIL has an iron mercury flask, found in his wanderings locally… I remember a cousin, a bit older than me, as a pre-teen, having a quart canning jar pf mercury, it made silver rings really shiny, even penny’s if cleaned good… I don’t remember where he got it all, but he shared, I had a vial around for yea’s save it out of old thermometers, mercury relays, etc… Maybe still hiding in the garage somewhere…

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