In British Columbia, we accept many kinds of lighting products for recycling, including light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, light fixtures, ballasts and string lights.
When dropping off lights remember:
- You can return up to 16 light bulbs at once (any combination of different types of bulbs)
- You can return up to 5 light fixtures at once, although some locations may be able to accept more. If you have more than 5 light fixtures to drop off, it’s advisable to call and check with the recycling location in advance.
- Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)
- Fluorescent tubes (straight, curved, U, circular, square, etc.)
- UV and germicidal bulbs
- Incandescent and halogen bulbs
- Light emitting diodes (LEDs)
- Ultra High Performance (UHP) (replacement projector lamps)
- High-intensity discharge (HIDs)
To be accepted for recycling under the light fixtures program, the primary purpose of the product must be for the illumination of space. Therefore, products that have a different primary purpose, but include a light feature as well, are not accepted.
Accepted fixtures include portable, hardwired, free standing and solar-powered lights.
See a full list of accepted light fixtures. Accepted fixtures include:
- Bike lights
- Book lights
- Ceiling fixtures
- Electric candles
- Floor lamps
- Light strings (e.g. Christmas and garden lights)
- Night lights
- Outdoor fixtures
- Recessed/pot lights
- Security lights
- Table and desk lamps
- Wall fixtures
- Work lights
Lighting ballasts and transformers
What is a lighting ballast?
Lighting ballasts are replaceable components designed to regulate or transfer the electrical current/energy in a light fixture. Ballasts may be present in fluorescent and other vapour lamps/light fixtures in your home, place of business or community institutions.
Ballasts manufactured prior to 1980 may contain Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) based oils for cooling and insulation. PCB-containing lighting ballasts are classed as Waste Articles Containing Polychlorinated Biphenyls (class 9, UN2315, PGII) under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR).
Ballasts manufactured after July 1st, 1980 likely do not contain PCB oils.
We accept both PCB-containing and non PCB-containing ballasts through the program, however, PCB-containing ballasts require special handling and must not be brought to a collection site.
To determine whether your lighting ballasts contain PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), please see page 5 of our generator guidelines here or check this table.
How to recycle ballasts containing PCBs
Do not take PCB-containing ballasts to a collection site – we will pick them up free of charge, up to 5kg at once (typically a maximum of two ballasts).
To arrange a pick up, follow these steps:
- Obtain a BC Generator Number from the Ministry of Environment, as required by law.
- Properly identify and segregate PCB-containing ballasts from all other products, including non-lighting products and lighting ballasts that do not contain PCBs.
- Complete a Generator Declaration Form.
- Package the PCB-containing ballasts in properly labelled, Product Care approved collection containers in accordance with the program’s guidelines.
- Ensure ballasts that do not contain PCBs are not placed in the container.
If you need help with this process, or have more than 5kg of PCB ballasts to recycle, please contact us at 604-592-2972 ext. 236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to recycle ballasts not containing PCBs
These can be recycled free of charge at any of our light recycling sites in British Columbia.
Not Accepted Products:
- Alarms, phones and devices for the visually impaired
- Aquarium equipment
- Auto fixtures
- Backlit signs
- Ventilation fans
- Black light equipment
- Bug zappers
- Camera and video accessories
- Electronic billboards
- Equipment to heat food
- Equipment to warm animals (such as brooder fixtures)
- Exit signs without light heads
- Fencing with integrated lights
- Fountains with integrated lights
- Garlands with integrated lights
- Decorative key chains with integrated lights
- Laser pointers and other laser products
- Lava lamps
- Light up shoes, hats, collars, and clothes
- Marine and aeronautical fixtures
- Mirror ball lights
- Neon signs
- Plasma balls
- Propane and gas powered lights
- Signaling equipment such as traffic lights and railway lights
- Strobe lights
- Sunshine simulators
- Artificial trees with integrated lights
- Medical, dental and veterinarian lighting equipment
- Decorative sculptures and statues with one or more integrated lights, where the primary purpose of the product is decorative and the lights are designed to light the decoration itself and not to illuminate surrounding space
- Tanning beds
- Umbrellas with integrated lights
- Vanity mirrors with lights
- Holiday decorations (other than string lights and stake lights), such as jack-o-lanterns, decorative sculptures and plastic Santas
- Horticultural lighting fixtures such as greenhouse or grow lamp fixtures