Many fluorescent and other MCLs and all MCDs contain quantities of mercury sufficient to fail the
US EPA's Toxicity Characteristic (TC), and are subject to the hazardous waste regulations under the federal Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when discarded (See 40 CFR 261.24). However, many generators may not realize
that their spent mercury-containing lamps or devices are hazardous waste. Also, due to the volatility of the mercury
and the fragility of many types of MCLs and MCDs, mercury vapor can be released quite readily into
the environment upon the improper management of these wastes.
Since MCLs and MCDs are generated by many different types of facilities that have not normally been
covered by hazardous waste regulations in the past, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has
Chapter 62-737, F.A.C. (pdf)
that make it easier for generators of MCLs and MCDs to properly manage their MCLs and MCDs for the recovery and proper
management of the mercury they contain. These rules have been adopted using the
US EPA's Universal Waste Rule (UWR)
framework (40 CFR Part 273). In Florida, MCLs and MCDs that exhibit the hazardous waste characteristic for mercury
and are being managed in accordance with Chapter 62-737, F.A.C., are considered to be state universal wastes.