The use of
fluorescent light bulb tubes and compact fluorescent light bulbs
(CFLs) has been increasingly encouraged over the past years
because of its energy efficiency.
While fluorescent tubes are commonly used in commercial
businesses, CFLs offer the same type of efficiency to private
bulbs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs,
decreasing waste, expense, and pollution caused by production.
Despite the benefits of fluorescent bulbs, consumers
still need to practice responsible use and recycling of this
Fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury that, if
compounded, is damaging to the environment.
fluorescent bulbs prevent mercury from being released openly.
Recyclers use mercury and the other materials used for other
businesses using large quantities of fluorescent bulbs can start
a regular recycling program for their facility. Consider these
options to assist the management of recycling.
Commercial Bulb Crusher. These
machines are designed to crush the bulbs and prevent hazardous
air emissions. They can handle straight, U-shaped, CFL's and
any existing recycling service from your lamp distributors.
Some distributors may offer a pick-up or exchange
management flow for the recycling process, including a
designated area to store and process used
bulbs / lamps.
Many manufacturers sell specific containers made for
storing fluorescent tubes.
pick-up or transporting options for your facility.
Large quantity users may use a regularly scheduled
pick-up service. For
smaller quantities, manufacturers use mail programs to receive
used fluorescent tubes. If you are close to a recycler or
processor, self-transport is the most cost-efficient for smaller
quantities of waste lamps.
BULB RECYCLING PROCESS
remove the bulb to prevent breakage.
Do not twist the glass; remove by holding the base of the
place the bulb or tubes in its original packaging for transport.
in mass, the bulbs are sealed in a large drum for transport to a
Just as with the
bulb crusher machines indicated above that can be used onsite in
most states, the large processors
use special equipment to crush the bulbs, which also traps potentially hazardous
powders and vapors.
materials, which include glass, aluminum, and mercury, are
separated and sent to another facility where they will be
prepared for reuse.
FLUORESCENT BULBS OR CFLs
bulbs and CFL (compact fluorescent light bulbs) should be
handled carefully to prevent breakage.
Breaking these bulbs releases mercury vapor into the air,
which could affect human health.
fluorescent bulb breaks, follow these guidelines to ensure safe
and shut off the central air conditioning unit to prevent the
spread of mercury vapors.
Allow the room to air out for five to ten minutes.
broken debris with paper onto stiff cardboard, and then place
the debris and cardboard in a sealed glass jar.
tape to clean up smaller bits of debris and glass.
when smaller fragments are left after sweeping. Remove and seal
vacuum bags in a plastic bag or empty and wipe vacuum canisters.
Place glass jar
or plastic bags containing the bulb debris outside of the home
until it can be taken and disposed.
local regulations regarding fluorescent bulb disposal.
Some local agencies require recycling of these bulbs.