Traditionally, mercury has been used in medical devices, electrical devices, precision instruments, and forming compounds for industrial uses with other elements.

With time, experts realized the need for responsible Recycle Mercury because the element can be hazardous to the environment and human health.

Unfortunately, we can still find mercury used in various electronic devices. It is where recycling companies such as Recycle Technologies come to offer solutions. Recycling mercury is a complex process that involves chemical and physical transformations of the waste materials. This blog explains how you can contribute to a sustainable future by helping us recycle e-waste responsibly.

Why is Mercury Hazardous? 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), when ingested or inhaled, mercury and its compounds can cause skin and eye corrosion, gastric tract irritation, tremors, insomnia, memory loss, and headaches. 

Imagine such a potent toxin sitting around on your old LCD computer screen. We at Recycle Technologies recommend that you let professionals handle e-waste like that. If you are in the Minnesota or Wisconsin area, feel free to visit our website, www.recycletechnologies.com

Can Companies Recycle 100% of Mercury?

Mercury is recyclable to more significant percentages, but we are still short of completing a complete cyclic process. Companies such as Recycle Technologies, are working tirelessly for over 20 years to reuse and put a ban on mercury usage. We are also a crucial part of the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers (ALMR), which keeps us updated with any recycling rules and regulations changes.

The reason companies cannot recycle 100% mercury is because: 

  • It exists as a liquid at room temperature
  • It is highly reactive, hence becomes easily contaminated
  • It is difficult to extract from appliances

Recycle Mercury

Even though Recycle Mercury needs significant improvements, the responsibility of the public and recyclers to handle the e-waste with care remains. 

Mercury undergoes a series of processes to get recycled. Following are some of them mentioned in detail:

Processes to Recycle Mercury Responsibly

Many companies claim to recycle mercury responsibly in the US, but only a few follow the proper code of conduct. Recycle Technologies prides itself on having the latest technology to recycle as much mercury from e-waste as possible.

Following are some standard mercury recycling procedures. These differ for various appliances which contain them.  The traditional system includes the following:

  • Collection
  • Distillation 
  • Purification

We recommend that our valued customers contact us as soon as they see a mercury spill or if they want to get rid of their electronics. We offer collections from the doorstep facility in Minnesota and Wisconsin or mail-in options nationwide. Before contacting professionals, ensure the appliance you want refurbishing is appropriately wrapped, and there is no spill. 

Since different appliances require different methods of recycling mercury, we need to have an in-depth look. 

How To Recycle Mercury from Various Appliances?

Fluorescent Bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs are usually taken to our recycling plants, which are crushed to bits. The crushing and shredding process separates glass, phosphorus, and the metal bits of the bulb. As a result, it releases mercury in its vapor form. 

We have specialized air filters for obtaining these vapors that can capture much of the vapor element. We purify the mists before storing them to improve the obtained mercury percentage. The purification process includes various chemical treatments and filtration to get as much elemental mercury as possible, varying between 80-90%. 

Batteries

Even though mercury batteries have become obsolete, we get cases where people are responsible for disposing of mercury batteries. We begin by disassembling the batteries –  which can be a tedious process. Accidental destruction or leakage is the biggest concern at this point. 

We extract mercury plates from batteries with appropriate tools and put them in sealed containers. While removing mercury from batteries is not an ideal way to get recyclable mercury, it is still possible. The reason is that the mercury by weight in batteries is minimal. 

Thermometers

Getting mercury from thermometers is relatively more straightforward, as it can be quickly done using a pipette or a dropper. The process mirrors obtaining mercury from batteries, so we will only go into some detail. However, we need to remember that due to the nature of mercury, it is highly recommended that you leave the extraction of mercury from appliances to our professionals.  

The Way Forward

In the future, recyclers can develop better mechanical or chemical processes that yield 99% mercury in its elemental form. All the current methods require extreme care and precision. 

At Recycle Technologies, we are always up-to-date with the latest recycling techniques and safety protocols. Our 30-year experience with e-waste recycling has enabled us to strive for a future where people understand the proper handling of mercury appliances. 

If you have any electronic gadget (battery, thermometer, or bulbs) that needs to be recycled responsibly, get a free quote from our website (https://www.recycletechnologies.com/). You can also email us at dispatch@recycletechnologies.com or call +1 763-559-5130 (for Minnesota) and +1 262-798-3040 (for Wisconsin).