Mercury-Containing Fluorescent Lamp Recycling Program



Type of Initiative:


Products Targeted:    

Mercury-containing fluorescent lamps and bulbs

Summary of Initiative
Supporting Framework
Program Details
Program Contacts

Summary of Initiative      

The Take Back the Light program aims to encourage the recycling of mercury-containing fluorescent lamps and bulbs.  The program operates on a voluntary basis.

The program, developed with financial support from the Ontario Ministry of Environment, is administered by the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO). Take Back the Light works with both sellers and buyers of fluorescent lamps to recover and recycle fluorescent lamps, generated from the industrial, commercial and institutional (I,C&I) sector. The program matches generators of these lamps with participating lamp suppliers and distributors. The program provides a simple low-cost opportunity to send fluorescent lamps to be recycled responsibly by audited and approved processors.  Currently the program accepts all types of lamps from Ontario and other jurisdictions, and can be adapted to facilitate the collection of residential lamps.

To participate in the program, please visit the RCO’s website at:

Supporting Framework


The program operates on a voluntary basis in Ontario.


The RCO aims to collect 6 million fluorescent lamps and bulbs through the program by the end of 2012.

Program Details


In order to participate, companies need to register with Take Back the Light. For more information, visit the Take Back the Light website:

Product-specific Fees:  

There are no fees for buyers/ users of lamps to participate in the program. Distributors that participate in the program pay an annual fee based on gross sales, which cover part of the cost of the program, for site visits, monitoring and other program functions.

The program is self-sustaining.

Program Monitoring & Reporting:

This is a voluntary program and there are no specific monitoring requirements.

Program Performance:

As of December 1st 2011, the Take Back the Light program recycled more than 3 million lamps since its inception.

Program Contacts

Service Provider:
Take Back the Light
Recycling Council of Ontario
215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 225
Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2C7
Phone: Local (416) 657-2797, Toll-free 1-888-501-9637

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