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How to Dispose of a Tanning Bed

Breann Kanobi

Tanning beds feature UV lights that contain mercury. Mercury is considered a hazardous material in the United States. According to the Albatross UV website, mercury must be made and disposed of "in accordance with strict local, state and federal regulations.

Most UV lamps last from 300 to 1,500 hours.

Fines and other penalties may be imposed for improper disposal of mercury lamps." Always make sure to contact local and state waste authorities before disposing of mercury lamps in order to learn the appropriate procedure in your area.

  1. Check to see if your state has a lamp-recycling program. As of September 2010, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New Mexico run UV lamp-recycling programs. Some states, such as California, Florida and New Jersey, are in the process of designing programs. If your state offers a recycling program, call your local lamp distributor to schedule a pick-up. According to Lamp Compatibility, most distributors charge $1 to $2 for each lamp.

  2. Contact local governments to check UV lamp disposal laws. If possible, find a recycling center appropriate for your lamps. Otherwise, call the local waste-management service and let it know you intend to dispose of a UV lamp on you next trash pick-up day.

  3. Unplug tanning bed and remove the UV lamps. Make sure to wore protective gloves.

  4. Place the UV lamps in a cardboard box. Label the box "Universal Waste-Lamps."

  5. Set these boxes out on your next trash day. If desired, drive lamp-free tanning beds to the local dump.