"Washington State law requires that all mercury-containing lights be recycled, as mercury is a potent neurotoxin. Although a single fluorescent light contains a very small amount of mercury, millions of these lights are sold every year in Washington State. Taken together, the mercury from fluorescent lights and HIDs has potential to harm human health and the environment if not properly recycled.
Unbroken lights are safe to handle and use. Disposing of mercury-containing lights in regular garbage can cause the mercury to be released if they break. Recycling these lights prevents the mercury from being released. Since mercury can vaporize at room temperature, it could be released from broken lights in your home, in landfills, or at any point in-between. Mercury can be particularly harmful to children, infants and fetuses by impairing neurological development." - Light Recycle Washington
Ballasts manufactured before 1978 are likely to contain PCB oil. If a ballast being discarded does not bear a label stating it contains no PCBs, assume it does.
Residents can take up to 10 bulbs or ballasts per day to the Transfer Stations Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Drop Site on Saturdays and Sundays or the Waste to Energy Facility 7 days a week. Businesses that qualify as Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQG) can call 509-202-7397 to request a disposal price quote and schedule a drop off appointment at the Transfer Stations on Saturdays and Sundays.