CALL MN:(800)969-5166
CALL WI:(800)305-3040
CONTACT USGET A QUOTE
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...
milwaukee art museum

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 lamprecycle.org, 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.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Light Bulb Recycling
Electronic Recycling
Battery Recycling
TV Recycling
BALLAST-RECYCLING
Ballast Recycling
Cracking the Code: A Guide on How to Recycle Old Computers

As the technology boom surges, the life cycles of digital products are dwindling, leading to a rapid increase in electronic waste. However, recycling old computers is essential for not only environmental benefits but also for ensuring data security and economic sustainability.  In this blog, we present a comprehensive guide on how to recycle old computers […]

The Ultimate Guide: How to Properly Dispose of Light Bulbs

Ever wondered what to do with that burnt-out bulb collecting dust in your lamp? Tossing it in the trash might seem convenient, but it's not the most eco-friendly solution. Then! What? Learn how to dispose of light bulbs safely and responsibly to protect the environment and yourself. Importance! To Dispose of Light Bulbs Properly Properly […]

Reviving the Past: Sustainable Solutions For Old TV's Recycling

As technology advances at a rapid pace, many of us find ourselves upgrading our televisions to keep up with the latest features and capabilities that aren’t in old TV’s capacity. However, the disposal of old TVs can have a significant environmental impact if not handled properly. Old TVs contain harmful substances such as lead, mercury, […]

Disadvantages of Recycling: An In-depth Overview of E-Waste Recycling Challenges

Recycling! Recycling! Recycling plays a crucial role in mitigating the environmental impacts of waste. However, like any other system, it has its own set of drawbacks. In the context of electronic waste (e-waste), recycling presents unique challenges due to the complex composition of electronic devices and the toxic materials they contain. This article aims to […]

Healthy Planet, Healthy You: Exploring the Health Benefits of E-Waste Recycling

The world today is a global village. In this interconnected world electronic gadgets are a central part of our day-to-day lives. However, the advent of technological advancements have also given rise to the pressing issue of electronic waste in the USA.  While it is established that e-waste has severe environmental implications, it is sometimes forgotten […]

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