As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. In order to reach us, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.

To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946

Fluorescent Lamps

Many types of lamps are hazardous waste and if they are from a business they cannot be disposed in the trash. While lamps generated from households are not regulated as hazardous waste we encourage homeowners to recycle their lamps. Homeowners should refer to Ohio EPA’s webpage about fluorescent lamps.

All fluorescent lamps (as well as other types of lamps) contain elemental mercury. Unlike other metals elemental mercury is a liquid at room temperature and will vaporize when it is not contained. Mercury vapors can be inhaled thus entering the body. Mercury can also enter your body by being absorbed through your skin. Mercury is a toxic substance that can damage the nervous system and also harm the kidneys. When lamps are improperly discarded the mercury can enter the environment where it combines with organic substances to form a very toxic substance called methyl mercury.

When kept intact lamps are safe to handle. In addition, lamps are very recyclable. The metal end caps and the glass and the phosphor powder can all be recycled. The mercury is easily recovered and can be reused. Because of this lamps generated from businesses, that are going to be recycled, can be managed as universal waste. (See more about universal waste).

In the universal waste rules the term “lamp” applies all hazardous waste lamps including: incandescent, fluorescent, metal halide, neon, high-intensity discharge, high-pressure sodium and mercury-vapor lamps. Lamps may also contain lead and cadmium. Because most lamps exhibit the characteristic of toxicity for heavy metals when disposed, they could be a hazardous waste.

Before you throw any lamps in the trash, you must evaluate the lamps to determine if the lamps are hazardous. If you determine your lamps are hazardous and you choose not to handle them under the universal waste rules, you must them as hazardous waste. Although the universal waste compliance standards are not required, you may manage your non-hazardous lamps under the universal waste rule. Since they are very recyclable, Ohio EPA strongly recommends recycling all lamps (even from households) even if they do not meet the criteria for hazardous waste.

Rules and Laws

Hazardous Waste

  • OAC Rule 3745-52-11 — For hazardous waste determination
  • OAC Rules 3745-51-20 through 24 — For hazardous waste characteristic
  • OAC Rules 3745-51-30 through 35 — For listed hazardous waste

Universal Waste

  • OAC Rules 3745-273-10 through 20 — For small quantity handlers 
  • OAC Rules 3745-273-30 through 40 — For large quantity handlers 
  • OAC Rules 3745-273-01 through 09 — For general universal waste

Guidance Documents, Fact Sheets, Forms and Reports

Related Webpages

Phone: (614) 644-2924

Fax: (614) 644-3146

Email Webmaster

Physical address:
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, OH 43215

Mailing address:
Lazarus Government Center
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, OH 43216-1049 

Mathews, Mitchell Manager (614) 644-2953
Heffelfinger, Tammy Supervisor (614) 644-2954
Ferron, Peter Environmental Specialist 2 (614) 728-5367
Kabelen, Zak Environmental Specialist 2 (614) 441-0262
McConnell, Tamara Environmental Specialist 2 (614) 644-2922
Shipley, Kristie Environmental Specialist 2 (614) 728-5363
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