Tanning beds feature ultraviolet (UV) lamps and bulbs. UV light sources serve various purposes from water treatment to home tanning to captive reptile care. Similar to compact fluorescent light bulbs, UV lamps contain mercury, a hazardous material, and must be disposed of properly. According to the Albatross UV website, mercury must be made and disposed of in accordance with strict local, state and federal regulations.
If you are wondering if there are alternative ways to dispose of tanning bed lamps in the state of Colorado, you can crush the bulbs, but it is strongly advised against doing so due to the toxic mercury and phosphorus materials that become airborne when doing so. The particles are too small for any regular PPE to be effective protection.
Proper steps to dispose of UV lamps
- While wearing protective gloves, unplug or disable power for the tanning bed and remove the UV lamps.
- Box them up in the packing your new lamps came in, so if they break the powder and glass are contained. label the box “Universal Waste Lamps.”
- Check your state’s UV lamp disposal laws and regulations.
- If needed, look for a recycling center or contact the local waste-management service to inform them you intend to dispose of a UV lamp on your next trash pick-up day.
- If none of these work for you, contact your local lamp distributor, like MHTT, to schedule a pick-up. Rates will apply with a $1 charge for each lamp (150 lamps minimum for the Denver area).
When should UV lamps be replaced?
UV lamps have an average life-span of around 800 hours which varies depending on size and use. In a commercial setting, 800 hours is covered in a short time span compared to a home unit setting where that same amount of time can stretch over years.
What’s the best option for recycling?
While your local waste company and drop-off locations can take your used lamps for no fee, there is no guarantee that every waste company recycles them. Drop-off locations can also be few and far between but at MHTT, we cover the entire Front Range area and all of Colorado.
Want the ease of convenience disposing of your used UV lamps? Give us a call or a text and let’s get you scheduled!