One of the main objectives with lighting is to find solutions that will last for a long period of reliable use. While advancements have been made on the manufacturing front to ensure longer lasting amps than ever before, the time will still come when lamps need to be replaced. When it comes to this topic in lighting management, here are a few tips on how to recycle lights the right way.
Know if the bulb has mercury.
This is the most crucial aspects regarding how to recycle lights the right way. Mercury can be harmful to humans and the environment so it is crucial to dispose of them the right way. Mercury can lead to developmental problems in unborn children and adults have also been reported to experience such side effects as speech, mobility, and other motor skill impairments as a result of mercury poisoning. Mercury is commonly found in compact fluorescent as part of their operation process. Compact fluorescent, as well as traditional fluorescent tubes, should be recycled following the suggested guidelines set forth by the EPA.
Find the right place for fluorescent.
To avoid any mercury issues, fluorescents should always be taken to the appropriate center as opposed to simply tossed in with other recyclable materials, or even worse, the regular trash. The EPA site has resources to help you find suitable locations to turn these lamps in for recycling to help make it easier to do the right thing. Working with an organization called Earth911, the EPA encourages recycling and reminds you that certain states may even require you by law to recycle mercury-containing lights. Find out more here, https://www.epa.gov/cfl/recycling-and-disposal-cfls and for recycling centers, check out this resource, http://search.earth911.com/
Find out if mail-back is an option.
Many manufacturers offer what is called mail-back recycling which is a great alternative. It is an easier solution for those looking to avoid driving to the recycling center. This method allows the company to reuse parts of the lighting solution for future products while ensuring any potentially harmful elements are properly handled. Again, the EPA is a great resource for this method. Find out more here, https://www.epa.gov/cfl/recycling-and-disposal-cfls#mail
LED lamps are still dangerous.
While the emphasis is often placed on mercury found in fluorescents, LED lamps still need to be properly recycled. They may contain arsenic and lead which can both be harmful to humans. While there are fewer programs available for recycling LED solutions, you may be able to find local centers or manufacturers willing to work with you to ensure these solutions are safely recycled.
Incandescent bulbs should not be mixed with regular recycling.
An incandescent bulb is typically made of glass that melts at a different temperature than typical glass recycling. There are no programs for recycling the glass this type of bulb uses since it isn’t viable for reuse.