Long gone are the days of waving mercury-containing fluorescent
tubes like lightsabers or throwing bulbs in the garbage once they’ve burned
out. Properly managing mercury is a serious environmental issue, and there are several
options to properly dispose of fluorescent bulbs and tubes that contain this
When disposed of improperly, exposed mercury contaminates land, air, and water. That’s why SupplyExpert.ca and Take Back the Light are teaming up to let you know why you need to properly recycle lights and how easy it is to do.
Take into consideration:
1) Less than one-third of mercury found in the environment occurs naturally. Most comes from pollution, like improper disposal of mercury-containing products.
2) Mercury is toxic in very small amounts. It only takes 3 grams of mercury to contaminate a 60-acre lake. A typical four-foot fluorescent lamp contains 4 milligrams.
3) Mercury can damage human health and can affect the central nervous system when directly inhaled or ingested.
4) Mercury evaporates slowly: once released into the environment, it is converted to methylmercury, which continually contaminates the air, soil, and waterways.
5) Mercury bio-accumulates, which means it builds up in the tissue of animals we eat as we go up the food chain putting human health at risk.
6) 98 per cent of a fluorescent light can be recycled and components can be reused in the marketplace.
7) Regulations state that anything over 10-12 four-foot lamps have to be properly managed
8) In Ontario, the Save-On-Energy LED rebate program requires proof of recycling for retrofit projects to ensure lights are recycled properly.
9) The Government of Canada passed Bill C-238, which calls for a national strategy to safely recover and recycle mercury-containing lights.
10) The Government of Ontario passed the Waste-Free Ontario Act, which identifies mercury-containing lamps as a priority product with the possibility of being banned from landfill.
How Should I Recycle?
Take Back the Light is a full-service light recycling program that streamlines the purchasing and recycling process between buyers and sellers of lighting products; and makes the recycling process easy, profitable, and accountable. The benefit to participants is the tracking and verification process: every light recycled through the program is tracked from generation point to final disposition, which means we know exactly when lamps are recycled and where materials end up.
SupplyExpert.ca offers prepaid packing recycling options. The cost of recycling, the box, and shipment is included in one price. It’s a convenient and fast way to ensure your lights are recycled properly.
Consider working with Take Back the Light and SupplyExpert.ca to achieve your sustainability goals and ensure that your lights are properly managed at end-of-life. It’s good for the environment, your company, and your clients.
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