Frequently Asked Questions


How much does it cost to participate in Take Back the Light as an industrial, commercial or institutional generator of used lamps?

The cost varies depending on the volume of lamps and transportation options. Participation in the program guarantees the best price in Ontario for recycling lamps. 

Is it time consuming?

Both signing up for the program and having lights recycled through Take Back the Light is efficient and simple. 

What are the risks?

There is no additional risk to recycling lights as there is to using them.  

As a buyer, how do I know if my lighting distributor is part of the Take Back the Light recycling / retrofit program?

All distributors currently registered with Take Back the Light are listed online

If you work with a distributor that is not currently registered with Take Back the Light, let them know that you are you are interested in taking part and send them to However, buyers can still register with Take Back the Light even if their distributor is not. 

Buyers that participate without a registered distributor can fill out a sign-up form or call 416.657.2797 ext. 10 to take part.   

Our company is interested in continuing to recycle its lamps once the retrofit is completed. Will it be able to continue with the program?

Yes. Contact us for more information 


How do you clean up broken compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and other fluorescent lamps?

  1. Ventilate the room for at least 15 minutes prior to starting clean-up by opening windows and doors to the outdoors. This will ensure that mercury vapour levels are reduced before you start cleaning. 
  2. Clean-up direction for Hard and Carpeted Surfaces 
    • Do not use a vacuum to clean up the initial breakage, as it will spread the mercury vapour and dust throughout the area and may contaminate the vacuum 
    • Wear disposable gloves, if available, to avoid direct contact with mercury and to prevent cuts
    • Scoop or sweep up the broken pieces and debris with two pieces of stiff paper or cardboard.  Do not use a broom
    • Use sticky tape, such as duct tape or masking tape, to pick up any remaining fine glass or powder
    • Wipe the area with a damp paper towel, cloth or disposable wet wipe to remove any residual particles
    • Place the broken glass an clean-up materials in a container with a tight fitting lid/closure to further minimize the release of mercury vapour
  3. Disposal
    • Take the broken remains to your local municipal hazardous waste depot

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Join the program

Take Back the Light streamlines the process for getting bulbs to the processor, and provides a cost–effective solution to handling fluorescent bulb waste.

Registration is simple

1 Submit your contact information
2 Receive a follow–up call
3 Get information on pricing, correct packaging of lamps, and transport
4 Complete Request for Service form
Join The Program
Registration Fees
Buyers/Users of Lamps register with Take Back the Light free of charge. Distributors and contractors are charged a modest fee based on gross sales:
Annual Gross Sales Annual Fee
< $500,000 $500* 
$500,000 - $999,999 $1,000 
$1,000,000 - $4,999,999 $1,500 
> $5,000,000) $2,000 
* Sellers only
Annual fees off-set the cost of site visits and monitoring, collection of data, website updates, program management, and communications.



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