Fluorescent Bulb Recycling / Disposal
The Phosphor found inside fluorescent lamps – not only the familiar tubes, but the new “energy saver” lamps designed to replace conventional incandescent light bulbs – contains mercury. For that reason, used fluorescent lamps need to be handled and disposed of carefully. When one breaks or implodes, it releases mercury into the air and anyone nearby may be exposed to the vapors.
Why should I be concerned about mercury?
Mercury is toxic to the human nervous system. Chronic breathing of mercury vapors can cause a range of physical symptoms, including inability to coordinate body movement and impairment of hearing, speech and vision. Exposure to mercury in other forms can lead to skin rashes and kidney damage.
Under certain conditions, fluorescent lamps burned in waste-to-energy plants can release mercury to the air and water. Not even the best pollution control devices can capture all of the mercury all of the time.
Mercury in the water “bioaccumulates” – that is, it builds up in concentration over time. For instance, in the tissue of fish, it makes them less healthy to eat frequently. Pregnant women who eat contaminated fish can pass mercury to their unborn children.
Upgrading a lighting system involves the removal and disposal of lamps and ballasts. Fluorescent lamps generated from these energy upgrades may be considered hazardous waste. Determining whether a waste is hazardous is the responsibility of the generator through “knowledge of the product” or the toxicity test (TCLP). Most fluorescent lamps fail the toxicity test (TCLP) for mercury and must be managed properly. Fluorescent lamps, when disposed, must meet the specified treatment standards under the land disposal restriction and certain states have policies in place to assure spent fluorescent lamps are being handled properly.
Recycling is a viable option for the proper handling of fluorescent lamps and can reduce the risk of future financial liability associated with hazardous waste. An effective lamp recycling program will not only protect a generator’s long-term interest, but will also contribute to waste minimization efforts already in place.
Eastern Environmental Technologies, Incorporated (EET) offers fluorescent lamp recycling advice to a broad range of companies, institutions, and municipalities throughout the United States. EET utilizes innovative European developed lamp recycling equipment which provides virtually 100% recycling, the method most preferred by federal, state, and local regulators.
The process produces aluminum end-caps, clean glass and mercury/phosphor powder, which are sent for reclamation. All “end product” facilities are audited and approved to utilize these material in the process.
Eastern Environmental can recommend a fluorescent bulb / disposal program for you, as well as coordinate packaging, tracking, and transportation.
FLUORESCENT LAMP RECYCLING – MAINTENANCE PROGRAM
Eastern Environmental Technologies, Inc. has found that there is a growing interest in a program for the proper disposal of used fluorescent lamps generated through normal replacement of bulbs. To meet this growing demand, we have instituted a quality recycling program that eliminates the risk to the environment associated with the improper disposal of fluorescent bulbs.
1. Eastern Environmental Technologies, Inc. will arrange delivery of 25 boxes to your facility. Each box will hold approximately 45 lamps, T-12 size. If lamps are T-8 size, boxes will hold approximately 85 to 90 lamps.
2. When boxes are filled, place 18 boxes on a skid, shrink wrap and call or fax for pick-up. All types of lamps except 8 foot lamps should be handled this way. Eightfoot boxes need not be on skids if the quantity is ten boxes or below. These may be picked up as loose boxes.
3. Additional boxes will be delivered as needed.
4. Upon receipt of payment, a Certificate of Recycling will be issued to the Generator.
EET will co-ordinate all lamp pick-ups and administer the proper paperwork to assure the program complies with all regulations. An environmentally sound and cost effective solution for the disposal of your lighting maintenance wastes will not only protect the generator’s long term interest, but will also contribute to waste minimization efforts already in place.