Safety Policies

SY26 Fluorescent Light Ballast/Capacitor Disposal

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Charles Williams, 865-0812,

Policy Steward: 

Director of Environmental Health and Safety



To establish a policy and procedure for the handling and disposal of fluorescent light ballasts/capacitors containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) at all locations of The Pennsylvania State University (except the Hershey Medical Center).


The University is required by environmental regulations, 40 Code of Federal Regulations 761, to ensure the proper disposal of PCB containing ballasts/capacitors.


All light ballasts/capacitors manufactured prior to 1979 that are not marked "NO PCB," shall be assumed to contain PCB's.


PCB containing ballasts/capacitors should be detached from lamp fixtures, placed into closable containers that prevent leakage or releases, provides protection from the elements, and marked "PCB." They are not to be stored at or delivered to Lion Surplus.

If ballasts/capacitors are leaking, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) shall be notified for assistance immediately (814) 865-6391.

Overheated ballasts/capacitors should be allowed to cool before removal.

Ballasts with manufacturer marking "NO PCB's" may be disposed of in the residual trash.

Ballasts with manufacturer marking “Electronic Ballast” may be recycled as scrap metal.

Fluorescent light ballast/capacitors containing PCB’s shall be disposed through EHS.  At University Park disposal is through the Waste Disposal pick up request form for Light Tube and Ballasts available on the EHS website  (  EHS retains appropriate disposal vendors to provide services for all University facilities and in general, this service is provided to the Campuses twice a year.


For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.

Most recent changes:

  • January 13, 2023 - Editorial change to update Policy Steward.
  • November 16, 2021 - Editorial changes. Updated verbiage in PROCEDURES section to clarify processing. 

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • June 10, 2014 - Editorial changes. Updated code number reference in Code of Federal Regulations, and updated verbiage in PROCEDURES section to clarify processing. Added policy steward/ further information references, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.

  • March 13, 2002 - Updated to reflect procedural changes.
  • March 28, 1996 - New policy.

Date Approved: 

November 16, 2021