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Fluorescent lamps and High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps contain a small amount of mercury, an element essential to producing a short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes the phosphors to fluoresce and produce visible light. The United States Environmental Protection Agency classifies fluorescent lamps as hazardous waste, and recommends that they be segregated from general waste for recycling or safe disposal.
Easy and convenient options exist for hobbyists and retailers to recycle lamps containing mercury. Lighting manufacturers, through their trade association, National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) developed lamprecycle.org to provide a one-stop source of information about recycling lamps.