CALL MN:(800)969-5166
CALL WI:(800)305-3040
Recycling Services
Recycle Technologies has been delivering recycling services to the community since 1993. As a recycling and shredding company based in the Midwest, we operate licensed facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Notably, Recycle Technologies stands as the sole Minority-Owned document destruction and recycling enterprise in the Midwest region.

Sham Lighting Recyclers – Are You At Risk?

December 16, 2019
Where do you send your used mercury-containing lamps when they leave your building? If your answer...
Where do you send your used mercury-containing lamps when they leave your building? If your answer...

Don’t be a victim – vet your recycler or pay the price

Where do you send your used mercury-containing lamps when they leave your building? If your answer involves a recycling facility, you’re ahead of the curve because many building operators don’t recycle lamps containing mercury properly, even though the highly toxic substance has serious environmental and health implications. However, unless you’ve truly vetted your recycler, you may be unintentionally sending lamps to the landfill after all. This is one situation where what you don’t know can really cost you. Sham Recycling DefinedA light bulb processor accepts un-broken bulbs that contain mercury, such as fluorescent lamps, and uses a tightly controlled process to remove and separate the mercury from the lamp so they can sell it back to the commodity market, explains Lynn Petros, owner, CEO, and chief environmental officer of Recycle Technologies, a recycler that partners directly with customers. A broker, by contrast, collects the lamps from your facility but pays a processor to do the actual recycling. Both can be valid options for lamp recycling, but it pays to make sure you’re using a legitimate business.

Start by adopting the downstream auditing process to check out companies you’re not familiar with. ALMR recommends these additional steps:Pricing: “As with many things, you usually get what you pay for,” ALMR notes. “Question pricing and get more than one quote.”Service: Examine responsiveness, timeliness, program flexibility and customization, the personnel you will work with, any intermediates involved, and the firm’s capability and equipment. If your recycler is caught improperly disposing of mercury-containing lamps, you’re ultimately responsible for any ensuing fines or cleanup costs.“Some red flags are bold claims or companies that are not recyclers claiming to be recyclers,” adds Paul Abernathy, executive director of the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers (ALMR), of which Recycle Technologies is a board member. “Unless you specify in a contract that they have to provide you with evidence of proper disposal, then your bulbs and money are gone and you have no idea where your light bulbs end up.”Audit Your Current RecyclerVerifying the legitimacy of your current partner is similar to checking out a new company, minus the price and service quality you’ve observed from doing business with them. However, it’s not difficult to trace the path your bulbs have taken, especially if you’ve chosen a truly trustworthy broker or processor.“Do a downstream audit,” Petros ex-plains. “You want to understand whether you’re using a processor or broker. If it’s a broker, who is the broker using?”Also find out what happens to the separated components, especially the mercury-tainted phosphor powder, Petros says. For example, Recycle Technologies processes bulbs, but ships the powder and filters to a distillation company. Other companies may send contaminated parts to a hazardous waste landfill, which may or may not meet your standards. The destination facility must issue you a certificate of recycling that verifies proper disposal. Brokers can’t legally issue these, but the processor they use should, so the absence of this document is a major problem. Ask about the street address of your bulbs’ ultimate destination, a certificate from the actual recycler, and the turn-around time between when your bulbs arrive and when processing is finished. Processors are heavily regulated by the EPA and each state, so also make sure to ask for references or contact state agencies about environmental and compliance histories, Abernathy advises. Look into the company’s financial health, insurance for general and pollution liability, indemnities or other assurances, permits and approvals for facility operation or transportation, operations, and safety procedures and records, vapor control and monitoring, hygiene and medical surveillance, facility closure plans, audit reports, and key regulatory contacts. How to Find a New RecyclerIf you’re unsatisfied with your current recycler or just starting a formal lamp re-cycling program, minimize your liability by properly vetting potential business partners. Ask your local electrical distributor about mail-back programs or find national recyclers at, advises Joseph Howley, chairman of NEMA’s lamp section and manager of industry relations Risk Management: Any company that quotes you a recycling price should also demonstrate compliance with the same regulatory and environmental criteria you’d apply to a current business partner. If you can’t get satisfying answers, don’t contract with that company. “These are all reasonable questions to ask,” Abernathy says. “But the onus is on you.”

Ask an Expert

1-800 969-5166

Drag a button, link, or anything else into the icon box to place it below the text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet elit.

Call us 24/7 or submit the form below to speak with one of our ITAD & e-waste specialists.
[wpforms id="15859"]

Ask an Expert


Drag a button, link, or anything else into the icon box to place it below the text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet elit.

Call us 24/7 or submit the form below to speak with one of our ITAD & e-waste specialist
Ask an expert
Electronic Recycling
Battery Recycling
TV Recycling
How Businesses in East Bethel Are Embracing Recycling

In the bustling business landscape of East Bethel, a quiet revolution is taking place—one that promises not just a cleaner environment, but a brighter future for all. Companies big and small are waking up to the incredible benefits of recycling, transforming their operations and making a powerful statement about their commitment to sustainability.

How Recycle Technologies is Transforming Duluth's Environmental Landscape

Duluth, a city known for its picturesque landscapes and thriving community, is a beacon of pride and accomplishment in its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.   At the heart of this commitment is Recycle Technologies, a company that thrives on the support and dedication of the people of Duluth. This blog delves into how Recycle […]

How Recycle Technologies is Leading the Way in Washington County

Looking to responsibly dispose of old mattresses and box springs? Your local washington county recycling center has you covered. For just $5 each, you can recycle these bulky items at the 40 West Landfill, ensuring they don't end up in the waste stream.  This recycling initiative aims to reduce landfill waste and promote sustainability in […]

Promoting Sustainable Practices: Recycling in Scott County with Recycle Technologies

Recycling has become an essential practice in our modern world, as we strive to preserve the environment for future generations. Scott County, MN, in the heart of the Midwest, has embraced the importance of recycling and is promoting sustainable practices.

Embracing a Greener Tomorrow: Recycling Electronics Responsibly in Blaine, MN

Blaine, a thriving community in Minnesota, is taking proactive steps to promote sustainable practices and minimize environmental impact. With the ever-increasing reliance on electronic devices, proper disposal of unwanted electronics has become a crucial concern. Fortunately, Recycle Technologies, a leading recycling company, is at the forefront of this endeavor, offering comprehensive solutions for responsible electronics recycling in Blaine and its surrounding areas. 

Share on
Recycle Technologies has been providing services to the community since 1993. We are a Midwest-based recycling and shredding company.
Minnesota Facility

Oxygen Icon Box

1525 99th Ln NE, Blaine, Minnesota,

Oxygen Icon Box


Oxygen Icon Box

Wisconsin Facility

Oxygen Icon Box

2815 South 171st Street, New Berlin,
WI 53151

Oxygen Icon Box


Oxygen Icon Box

News & Blogs
Minnesota Facility

1525 99th Ln NE, Blaine, Minnesota,55449


Wisonsin Facility

2815 South 171st Street, New Berlin,WI 53151


Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved
phone-handsetlaptop-phone linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram