Veolia Environmental Services North America, is pleased to announce that its Port Washington, WI facility has achieved approved processor status for the Take Back the Light program. This approval allows Veolia’s Wisconsin facility to recycle fluorescent and other mercury bearing lamps that are subject to the program’s strict operational and environmental requirements.
Launched in June 2008 with the financial support of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Take Back the Light is Canada’s first comprehensive fluorescent lamp recycling program. The program’s goal is to responsibly recycle fluorescent lamps that would otherwise be landfilled and to track and verify these activities. It facilitates proper collection and management of lamps to recover potentially hazardous mercury and other lamp materials. While the recovery of mercury is the primary objective of the program, glass, metals, and phosphor are also reclaimed and recycled.
“Proper handling of fluorescent and other mercury-bearing lamps is extremely important to Veolia and our customers,” says John McShane, Electronics Recycling Division General Manager for Veolia ES Technical Solutions.“ Being an approved processor for Take Back the Light provides the public and our customers the assurance they need to know that their spent lamps will be handled properly.”
The context for mercury containing lamps is as follows:
- It is estimated that approximately 30 million fluorescent lamps are disposed of annually.
- In 2008, approximately 7% of fluorescent lamps were collected for recycling.
- This 7% figure represents approximately 312 kilograms of mercury.
- It also represents over 8 million kilograms of glass, 100,000 kilograms of metal, and 128,000 kilograms of phosphor.