Florida Recycling Services:
With the decline of mercury being used in batteries, mercury containing light bulbs and other electrical devices are quickly becoming the largest sources of mercury going into Florida’s municipal solid waste stream. Mercury is used in many common items including fluorescent lamps and some HID lamps and thermostats. The mercury in fluorescent light bulbs is a critical component to their proper operation, but the disposal of these items at the end of their life is where the environmental issues come up. Unless these products are recycled or otherwise disposed of properly, the mercury from these products can pollute the ground water and air after these items end up in landfills. By recycling these products we can help reduce the pollutants in the environment. While a household may have a few burnt out fluorescent over the course of a year or two, the numbers of these bulbs going into the solid waste stream adds up when you look at the number of households in Florida disposing of spent fluorescent linear and spiral bulbs. Everyone including households should have their fluorescent lamps recycled in a safe manor.
For households with spent mercury containing lamps, most counties usually offer drop-off locations at various times throughout the year where people can drop off their spent lamps, in addition to paints, chemicals and other hazardous chemicals so they can be disposed of properly rather than going into the land fills. These drop off locations and dates are usually posted on the County websites. While these drop off locations are a great way to get rid of household bulbs and unwanted chemicals and old paint. Commercial users need to follow different rules.
Business Lamp Recycling:
When you compare the lighting used in commercial and industrial buildings, fluorescent lighting is still by far the most overall economical method of general lighting for offices, most warehouses and parking garages. With that being said, the proper handling and disposal of these products needs to be understood by the property owners or their management offices to be in compliance with EPA regulations. When recycling for businesses, the business is required to keep documentation on the bulbs they have sent to be recycled and keep a certificate of the completed recycling process. There would normally be two parties involved in the reclamation process; a Transporter and Recycling Facility.
The transporter’s job is to transport the bulbs safely from the waste generator facility (bulb user) to the reclamation (or Recycling) facility. The transporter must be registered with the EPA as a licensed or certified transporter (or hauler). The transporter may have several pick-ups in a day and the bulbs may be taken back to the transporter facility as a staging area. While at the facility the EPA has strict guidelines for how long and where the bulbs can be stored, before actually taking them to be recycled. This staging process allows for “scales of efficiency” for the transporters, so that they can combine multiple manifests (or orders) and make one trip to the recycling facility.
The Recycling Facility:
The recycling facility is responsible for receiving the spent lamps from the transporters and processing the lamps. In this reclamation process the mercury is separated from the other components of the bulb such as glass, aluminum ends, etc. Once the process is complete the recycling company will provide certificates of completion to the transporter usually after payment to the recycling facility is received from the transporter.
There are also mobile recycling units that are mounted on trucks. If these units are properly certified through the EPA, these mobile units become the transporter and the recycling center.
Protect Your Company From Liability:
Some distributors may offer “free recycling” as a way to entice unsuspecting business customers into doing business with them. Since there is a cost to recycling, these distributors are either adding the recycling costs into the price of the replacement lamps they are selling you, or they may be disposing of the bulbs illegally. Be very wary of these companies because they are not recycling the bulbs they are placing their customers in jeopardy by ultimately subjecting them to a significant potential liability (fines can reach well over $50,000.00) for the sake of making a fast buck, because the waste generator (bulb user) is liable for the proper disposal of the fluorescent lamps. The key to protecting your facility from this liability is to make sure you are dealing with reputable companies and by making sure the transporter of the bulbs provides you with a delivery manifest detailing what is picked up by length and quantity of the bulbs, and after the bulbs have been transported to the recycling facility and recycled you should receive your copy of the certificate of completion. The transporters should forward the certificate of completion to you after the recycling process has been completed. Some transporters may send this after the customer’s invoice has been paid.
Small to Medium Volume Waste Generators:
Frontier Lighting is an authorized distributor of Veolia recycling products. Veolia is the largest lamp and ballast recycler in the United States. These recycle containers are generally for small to medium size companies and condos that have smaller quantities of spent bulbs. The recycle boxes and pails are prepaid containers that allow the waste generators to collect the spent lamps at their facility and send the box to Veolia when the box is full. Since the box is prepaid all you do is call UPS to pickup a package at your facility, the box will be sent directly to Veolia where the bulbs will be recycled, and Veolia will then send a certificate of completion to you.
Large Volume Waste Generators:
For businesses that have a large number of lamps, Frontier Lighting is a registered transporter with the EPA and can arrange for the pickup of any quantity of spent lamps from your facility. The lamps should be re-packed into cases so that the lamps can be picked up to be taken to the recycling facility. Frontier Lighting has special fluorescent packing boxes available if you need extra boxes. These boxes would be suitable to hold approximately (40) T12 lamps or (60) T8 fluorescent lamps. Frontier Lighting is available to provide any information you may need to make sure you are in compliance with your lamp recycling.
Frontier Lighting has been specializing in the lighting business since 1987 and would be glad to offer solutions to all your lighting and recycling needs. Any of our Florida branch locations can arrange for the proper recycling of all of your burned out lamps. Call our customer service specialists today for prompt professional service or visit our on-line superstore www.FrontierLighting.com
Back to the Recycling Solutions page …