RecyclePak Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled some answers to frequently asked questions to assist you with our products. If you have any questions not answered here, please feel free to call our customer service department toll-free at 800-795-1230, Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST.


What is RecyclePak®? How will it work for me?

RecyclePak® is the fast and easy way to recycle and/or dispose of lamps, batteries, ballasts, mercury thermostats, dental waste, and computer. Simply order online. Our price includes the shipping of packaging to you, return shipping and recycling. We'll even send you a certificate of recycling to confirm your waste was recycled or disposed of in accordance with Federal and state regulations.


Why can’t I use my existing box for returning lamps?

Our RecyclePak® return shipping containers have been tested and approved at an independent testing laboratory to determine compliance with applicable sections of 49 CFR pertaining to the safe transport of dangerous goods- Packaging Group II. Our lamp recycling boxes have gone through repetitive shock vibration tests, free fall drop tests, stacking tests and even water absorption tests. We take these extra steps to ensure your materials are contained properly during shipment in order to minimize liability. Furthermore, our shipping carriers require these materials be shipped following certain guidelines and in some cases include additional containment mechanisms such as a poly liner. Lastly, regulations and labeling requirements vary by state. Existing manufacturer boxes my not include all or any of the above items and this could put you…as the generator at risk.


Why can't I just throw my lamps in the trash?

Lamps contain harmful mercury and may be considered hazardous waste. Federal regulations require that spent hazardous waste lamps be managed properly. Many states and local governments have banned hazardous waste lamps from solid waste facilities. Federal and state agencies endorse recycling as the preferred method of disposal of hazardous waste lamps.


Do I need to recycle?

Yes! Spent lamps, batteries and ballasts may contain hazardous waste. Federal regulations such as the Federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) require that hazardous waste be properly identified, stored, treated, transported and disposed. Generators are financially responsible for cleaning up the effects of improper disposal. Alternative management standards may be available under state specific regulations. Some states have land bans on disposal of fluorescent lamps and some do not have a small quantity exemption or household exemption. In these cases, disposing fluorescent lamps as trash is illegal!


Should I recycle low mercury or TCLP compliant lamps?

Low-level mercury lamps or TCLP compliant lamps still contain mercury. Manufacturers recommend recycling as the preferred method of disposal.


Is the RecyclePak® service available in all states?

While RecyclePak® is available in most states, there are certain states that require special handling. RecyclePak® containers meet the DOT requirements for shipment by highway, but are not available in Alaska and Hawaii. RecyclePak® has gained the approval from the State of Maine DEP for use in Maine.  Certain products are limited in certain states. Please refer to the products’ restrictions for additional guidance. If you have questions regarding the RecyclePak® service and your state regulations, please contact customer service toll-free at 1-800-795-1230


Where can I get instructions for my RecyclePak® container?

Instructions and forms are available online at


Can I cut my 8FT RecyclePak® lamp box down to fit 6FT lamps?

No, any altering of the RecyclePak® containers will void the UN/DOT Rating of the container. Use of any RecyclePak® container is subject to our terms and conditions. Cutting the box would void our terms and conditions as well as any liability protection offered under the program. A copy of our terms and conditions is included within each container. If you are going to use an 8ft RecyclePak® kit to ship back 6ft lamps for recycling, it may be necessary to add extra packing material to the container to avoid shifting during transportation.


I have liquid or elemental mercury. Can I ship this in RecyclePak®?       

Any amount of liquid or elemental mercury that is not sealed within an intact device cannot be shipped in the RecyclePak® program. Veolia has alternatives to the RecyclePak for this type of waste where the waste can be manifested properly for transportation. For alternatives, please contact customer service toll-free at 1-800-795-1230.


Do I need to tape the terminals on all of the batteries in my RecyclePak®?        

Yes! Recently there have been several incidents reported where a fire has occurred as a result of small batteries being improperly packed in a drum. Veolia’s goal is to assure that all batteries it manages are properly packaged and therefore the risk of such an incident occurring is minimized. All batteries pose potential hazards during transportation, therefore it is imperative that all shipments of batteries comply with the US Department of Transportation (US DOT).


Since RecyclePak® battery pails are designed for “Mixed Batteries”; it is a requirement to tape or protect against short-circuit all individual batteries prior to shipping. Failure to do so may result in a violation of US DOT packaging regulations.


ALL batteries are required to have terminals protected and be packaged in a manner to prevent short circuits from occurring. Proper insulation would include taping the terminals of the batteries or packaging batteries in individual plastic bags. If taping batteries, clear tape is preferred so that battery identification is still possible. Other forms of insulation and terminal protection may also be used. The proper short-circuit protection of batteries is clearly illustrated in the instructions of each RecyclePak® container and referenced on the container. Please understand that your use of our RecyclePak® program is subject to our “Terms and Conditions”, found within each RecyclePak® container. The section, titled “Your Promise” details your agreed to responsibilities by using the RecyclePak® program. Please understand that your failure to keep your promise may result in bodily injuries (including death), property damage, contamination of or adverse effects on the environment and/or violation of applicable laws or regulations and may also result in our seeking indemnification from you under the Indemnification section. Legal action, suits, claims, costs and expenses incidental thereto, in addition to government-assessed fines and penalties could occur in connection with your failure to keep your promise.


How many T5 Linear lamps will fit into a RecyclePak®?

Our RecyclePak® boxes document the estimated quantities of T12 and T8 lamps that can fit into the containers. T5 lamps are allowed in the containers, but the total weight of the container should not exceed to documented capacity as stated within the instructions.


How do you know if you exceed the 1 LB weight limit of elemental mercury in the Mercury Devices RecyclePak?               

The only way a generator will know how much mercury is in the pail will be to estimate either based on the total weight of the material in the container or based on a count of the specific types of devices times the amount of mercury in each device. Guidance is provided within each Mercury Device pail as well as provided below.


RecyclePak® Mercury Device Guidance

Component or Product

Estimated Amount of Mercury in Individual Component or Product (grams)1

Maximum Number Approved before exceeding 1 lb. mercury limit 2, 3

Flow meters


















Mercury Fever Thermometer

0.5 to 0.7


Laboratory/Industrial Thermometers

2 to 50








Flame Sensors



Float Switches



Tilt Switches







Note: 1 gram of mercury = 0.035 ounces. All numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number.


2For additional guidance and assistance with calculating the amount of devices that are allowed into this container, please visit

3Number of items based on upper limit of range listed. To determine a device specific limit divide 454 grams by the grams of mercury in each device. In the absence of device specific information the gross mass of the device may be used to calculate the number of devices allowed.


Approximately how many batteries can I fit into a battery recycling kit?              

Our 3.5 Gallon Dry Cell Battery Kit (Supply-041) is approx. 808.5 cubic inches. AA = 1617 AA Batteries AAA = 4042 AAA Batteries C = 621 C Batteries D = 237 D Batteries Our 1 Gallon Dry Cell Battery Kit (SUPPLY-069) is approx. 231 cubic inches. AA = 462 AA Batteries AAA = 1155 AAA Batteries C = 177 C Batteries D = 67 D Batteries Our .5 Gallon Dry cell Battery Kit (SUPPLY-093) is approx. 115.5 cubic inches. AA = 231 AA Batteries AAA = 577 AAA Batteries C = 88 C Batteries D = 33 D Batteries.


The above values are approximate quantities based on a standard size battery. Actual quantities may vary, please refer to the instruction booklet with your kit for weight capacities allowed within each RecyclePak® battery pail.


Can I include PCB containing capacitors in any of the RecyclePak® kits?

No, the use of the RecyclePak® kits is limited to materials that are not hazardous as defined by the US DOT or are specifically exempted from the hazardous materials regulations by the DOT. Small capacitors are exempt from regulation under the US EPA rules; however, the PCB fluid contained in a PCB containing capacitor is pure PCB oil. Because of this, the inclusion of PCB capacitors in a RecyclePak® kit will cause the kit to exceed the DOT exemption level for highway shipments of PCBs.


Can I recycle Low Pressure Sodium (SOX) lamps using RecyclePak®?     

A manufacturer of low pressure sodium lamps states the following on their MSDS for Low Pressure Sodium (SOX) lamps. WARNING: Prevent the bulb from being scratched. The lamps must be stored and transported in the original packing. Be sure power supply is off before installing or removing lamp. In case outer bulb is broken, avoid making contact with metal parts to prevent electrical shock. This lamp contains sodium, which can generate a high degree of heat when exposed to small amounts of water. Broken lamps may constitute an ignitable and/or reactive hazardous waste. Special care should be taken to prevent contact to the skin and water. It is recommended to recycle these lamps through an approved lamp recycler. Consult applicable Federal, State and local regulations. Based on this information it is the position of Veolia that Low Pressure Sodium (SOX) lamps should not be shipped using RecyclePak® containers. These lamps should instead be repackaged into original manufacturer packing, including all protective material and then be transported to a recycler via other transportation methods.


Can I put UV Lamps in a RecyclePak® container?

ONLY if the UV lamps contain solid mercury amalgam. If your UV lamp contains free flowing mercury inside the lamp, it cannot be shipped inside of any RecyclePak® container. Failure to comply with this will put your company at risk and violate our terms and conditions.


Can I place broken lamps in RecyclePak®?

Fluorescent lamps are fragile and can break if handled improperly. RecyclePak® is intended for the storage and transportation of intact fluorescent lamps. Veolia can however, accept broken or crushed lamps for recycling. Contact our customer service representatives toll-free at (800) 795-1230 for more information.


Where can I find my Unique Container Number and/or Tracking Number for my RecyclePak®?

The unique container number and return tracking number can be found on your "Proof of Purchase" card. This card is included within each RecyclePak® sold. Your Unique Container Number can also be found on the container itself. This number is unique to your container and can be used to generate a certificate of recycling upon return to Veolia. The tracking number is located underneath the barcode on the shipping label. The middle set of numbers and the set of numbers to the right can be combined to create the return tracking number.


I lost my prepaid shipping label or a label was not included…what should I do?

In most cases, your prepaid shipping label is attached to your container. Call customer service toll-free 1-800-795-1230 to request a prepaid shipping label if it has been removed or damaged. Be prepared to describe the container, the Unique Container number associated with the container, its contents and your location. We’ll ship another label out to you via USPS or email. Please allow 7-10 days to receive your label.


FedEx refuses to stop by and pickup my package, what should I do?

Our RecyclePak® program is designed to be shipped via FedEx Ground and not FedEx Express. FedEx is separated into different operating units. The first step would be to verify that you are calling FedEx Ground.  For business customers, call FEDEX® GROUND® (800) GO-FEDEX (463-3339) to schedule a GROUND RETURN pickup. Say “PRP” when prompted by the auto attendant. Alternatively, you can schedule a pickup online at


Please make sure that when requesting a pickup of your container you are as detailed as possible. If you are located on the 40th floor of a commercial building, please make sure you communicate this to FedEx Ground.


How many packages can I return in a single day with this program?

Our RecyclePak® program is designed for small quantities of waste. FedEx Ground allows for up to 25 packages a day to be returned. If shipping more than 25 packages a day, please arrange for multiple pickups with FedEx Ground.


Can I ship RecyclePak® using FedEx Freight?

No! RecyclePak® is prepaid only for FedEx Ground. If shipping more than 25 packages a day, please arrange for multiple pickups with FedEx Ground. Packages shipped FedEx Freight COD will be refused and returned to sender COD. DO NOT PALLETIZE your containers as FedEx Ground will refuse to pick them up.


Can I edit or delete my RecyclePak® order?

Yes. Orders can be edited or deleted up until your order is processed and shipped. If ordering via the RecyclePak® web site, you will receive a confirmation when your order is processed. Veolia may process and ship your order within 48 hours of receipt. Please contact customer service toll-free at 1-888-669-9725 to cancel your pending order.


Can RecyclePak® be shipped to an address other than my own?

Yes. During the ordering process, you have the option of specifying the billing address as well as the shipping address.


How long will it take to receive my RecyclePak®?

Most RecyclePak® orders ship within 48 hours of receipt, but may take up longer under certain situations. Please allow up to 5 days from date of shipment to receive your RecyclePak®.


Do I get an order confirmation of my RecyclePak®?

Yes. After placing an order, an immediate response will appear as a Thank You screen. You will also receive an e-mail confirming your order was processed and supplies shipped.


What happens to my RecyclePak® after it leaves my site?

Upon leaving your site, your RecyclePak® will be delivered to the nearest Veolia recycling facility for processing. There the waste is processed and reclaimed. A certificate of recycling is available online at


Can I track my RecyclePak® after it leaves my site?

Yes! Veolia utilizes various shipping companies to ship RecyclePak®. Simply log onto their web site and enter your tracking number.


How long will it take Veolia to have my certificate of recycling ready?

Your certificate of recycling will be available for download at in approximately two weeks from the time you ship your RecyclePak®. If you fail to properly fill out the prepaid shipping label, your certificate of recycling may not be documented correctly. Please ensure you properly fill out the prepaid shipping label to include your company name, mailing address, city, state, zip and facility contact.


Is it possible to be subjected to additional charges?

Veolia may charge additional fees, if your RecyclePak® container exceeds weight limits as specified by the RecyclePak® packaging, if you ship materials in the wrong containers, or if you ship materials other than that specified by your RecyclePak®.


Order RecyclePak Online

RecyclePak Options

There are multiple RecyclePak configurations, each used for different types and amounts of Universal Waste. Here are some items you can recycle with this pre-paid program:

  • T12 Fluorescent Lamps
  • T8 Fluorescent Lamps
  • U-Bend Fluorescent Lamps
  • HID Lamps
  • Metal Halide Lamps
  • High Pressure Sodium Lamps
  • Mercury Vapor Lamps
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps
  • CFL
  • LED Lamps
  • Non-PCB Ballasts
  • Dry Cell Batteries
  • AAA, AA, C, D, 9 volt Batteries
  • Alkaline Batteries
  • Carbon-zinc Batteries
  • NICAD Batteries
  • NIMH Batteries
  • Silver Oxide Batteries
  • Mercury Batteries
  • Lithium Metal Batteries
  • Lithium Ion Batteries
  • Mercury Devices
  • Dental Waste