The Retrofit Companies Blog

Shedding some light on led lamp recycling requirements

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It is undisputed that LED lamps have become the leading lighting technology, offering the benefits of energy savings, longevity and quality of light. With the rise of their popularity, several of our customers have inquired as to the regulations regarding their proper disposal and recycling.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s publication W-HW4-62: “Although the bulb portion of most light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are not hazardous and thus not (Universal Waste) lamps, the circuit board to which the LEDs are attached is a regulated electronic waste in Minnesota.” See more from the MPCA on E-waste recycling here.

Some of the reasoning behind the MPCA’s decision to regulate these devices is found in the materials used to construct the lamps themselves. Circuit boards have long been known to contain toxic lead solder (along with several other toxic substances), and is regulated in the State of Minnesota.

To help illustrate the situation, we have taken apart several screw-in style LED bulbs to show the hidden circuit board. Red arrows annotate the photographs and highlight the silver colored solder.


 If you happen to be outside of the State of Minnesota, be sure to check with your local authorities as to the regulations in your area. Even if your State permits you to “throw them away”, the better choice is to recycle them. After all, why would you just landfill them, knowing that your decision will have a lasting impact on our environment, and the world that our children will inherit.

With over 25 years in the lighting and environmental business, we know about LED lighting and waste regulations!

If you have any questions or would like more information regarding the regulations of LED lamps and fixtures: 

Consult our haz waste team

If you have not yet made the change to LED lighting, we can help there too! There are many things to consider when making the move to LED; don't take on the project alone:  

Consult a Lighting Pro










Highlights from previous collection events with TRC

Updated March 2017

Here's a letter from one of our recent Community Recycling Collections where the community recycled over 24,000 pounds of electronics and 177 appliances in just a few hours. For the full view, click here.

maplewood letter

The spring recycling collection season is in full swing, but we want to take a minute to thank everyone who has made a decision to responsibly recycle their used computers, burned-out lightbulbs, and broken dorm refrigerators. Our crews have visited eight communities already this spring, and we have almost TWENTY more collections on the books before summer is over for communities and private groups. 

We hope you'll stop by our events - just look for the TRC trucks - and recycle the items you no longer use. If you want help planning an event for your community, school, business, or other group, read our post on how to plan an event.

questions or for help planning and scheduling your next event - call 1-800-795-1230.

4 Companies in Minnesota Making A Positive Environmental Impact

One of the best parts of our business at TRC is that we get to take part in the efforts that companies make to achieve their environmental and financial goals. It's no surprise that large, medium, and small businesses and organizations have to put more effort towards their success these days, and part of those efforts mean making the best of your resources. Doing more with less. Improving process and taking responsibility for every action. Here's how four companies in Minnesota are sharing their efforts and making their actions known:

Gold'N Plump - St. Cloud, MN

A belief in "healthy food, families and farms" is at the core of this company's social responsibility statements. They have put their message in the forefront by adding the title to their website and making an annual "Farm to Fork Report" available to everyone. They highlight a great amount of information from their employee achievements to reductions in energy consumption and water conservation. 

Carleton College - Northfield, MN

This college campus has a very comprehensive "Sustainability Action Plan" with nine categories for action and improvement including: Green Building, Energy, Waste, Transportation and more. You can even read the savings impact that retrofitting their library had on the college's energy usage and finances. 

Anchor Paper - St. Paul, MN

Anchor Paper simply states their Environmental Policy on their website, acknowledging how the need to minimize their environmental impact can directly affect the bottom line of their business for their company and it's customers. 

Hilton MSP - Bloomington, MN

The Hilton MSP lets it's mission shine in the forefront of every business effort at this hotel location, their motto "Hospitality by nature." From their location adjacent to the a wildlife refuge, they make every attempt to make their business a green and sustainable one. Including an "uplifting" LED lighting retrofit throughout the property, as featured in this Xcel Energy Case Study.


What steps or actions has your business taken toward making a positive environmental impact?


Could your business be more sustainable?

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