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Oklahoma State University

Other Disposal Topics

Light Bulbs

If a fluorescent bulb breaks, DO NOT attempt to clean it up, call the Environmental Health and Safety Department 405-744-7241 to clean up the broken bulb.  Fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, which is potentially toxic to humans if inhaled or ingested.

Mercury-Containing Light Bulb (Lamp) Recycling:

Mercury is an essential component of many energy-efficient light bulbs. The two most common types of energy-efficient lighting that contain mercury are:

  • Fluorescent bulbs, including compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
  • High intensity discharge (HID) bulbs.

Examples of common waste electric lamps include, but are not limited to:

  • Fluorescent
  • High intensity discharge
  • Neon
  • Mercury vapor
  • Migh pressure sodium
  • Metal halide lamps
  • Specialty lamps that are used for streetlights, floodlights, parking lots, industrial lighting and some automobile headlights.

Under federal regulations Oklahoma State University is required to manage mercury-containing light bulbs as a hazardous waste after they burn out. DO NOT throw burned out fluorescent bulbs in the trash!

Standard incandescent bulbs are non-hazardous and can be placed in either regular trash, or a container for broken glass.


Many batteries are potentially hazardous if thrown in the trash. Oklahoma State University recycles the following types of batteries to comply with federal and state regulations and to keep our environment clean:

  • Lead Acid
  • NiCad (Nickel-Cadmium)
  • Lithium batteries
  • Mercury containing batteries.

These can be found in a variety of places, including:

  • Vehicles
  • Alarms
  • Exit Signs
  • Electronic devices – Cell phone, PDA, Radios, Computers.

Simply fill out and submit a Request for Chemical Removal form to have your batteries picked up and recycled.

Storm water

Storm drain
Storm drains are pipes that remove rain water from our streets and then flow directly to the closest creek or stream.

  • Only rain water should enter storm drains.
  • Oil or chemicals disposed into a storm drain or
    a drainage ditch will flow, untreated, directly to a stream or creek.
  • One quart of motor oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water
    or an oil slick the size of eight football fields.
  • Oil and water do not mix.


Only rain belongs in the storm drain.