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Florida Mercury Management Rules

Florida Statute, Chapter 403.7186, "Environmentally Sound Management of Mercury-Containing Devices and Lamps" targets electrical products or other devices that are proven to release mercury into the environment. Plus, mandate the prohibition for incineration or disposal by landfill for all mercury contain items.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) prepared an informative fact sheet titled, "Managing Discarded Mercury-Containing Devices (MCDs) in Florida" (PDF) explains briefly the main rules found in Chapter 62-737 F.A.C. "The Management of Spent Mercury-Containing Lamps and Devices Destined for Recycling" (PDF)

Mercury devices intended for recycling or disposal should be stored in a manner that will prevent them from breaking. Spent mercury-containing devices stored for recycling or hazardous waste disposal are required to be labeled or marked clearly with the words: Mercury-Containing Devices for Recycling; or Universal Waste Mercury Devices; or Waste (or Used) Mercury Devices. Broken devices should be stored in a tightly sealed container labeled with the words, “Spent Broken Mercury-Containing Devices for Recycling.”

Technically, most mercury devices are under the “Universal Waste Rule,” 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 273, to encourage resource recovery in order to reduce refuse going into the municipal solid waste landfills. These rules also loosen the hazardous waste management requirements for some commonly generated wastes. Therefore, diverting these wastes to permitted recyclers disqualifies them from being added towards your generator status plus offers less stringent transport requirements.

Additionally, the DEP has established a Mercury Recycling Contract (PDF) to provide inexpensive reclamation of mercury-containing devices.

Only two permitted mercury reclamation facilities exist in Florida:

  1. AERC Recycling Solutions, Melbourne, Florida
  2. Veolia Environmental Services, Tallahassee, Florida

Both are found on the Florida Department of Management Services Master Contractors List.The DEP also offers a list of “Registered Handlers of Mercury-Containing Lamps and Devices” organized by Florida counties.

Never throw mercury in the trash. Do not handle mercury over a sink or pour it down the drain. Mercury collects in the sink trap causing mercury vapor to continuously emanate from the sink; this is very common in chemistry laboratories.

Keep all receipts for off-site shipment of mercury lamps and devices. When shipping devices within the state of Florida, a Hazardous Waste Manifest and a licensed hazardous waste transporter is not required for shipments to a handler or recycling facility. In lieu, a shipping paper can be used with a DEP-registered mercury-containing lamp and device transporter.

Contact Information

Wendy Murphy
325 West Gaines Street
Suite, 1054
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 245-9295