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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.

Why Is It Crucial to Recycle Mercury Waste Properly?

June 22, 2023
People actively participate in recycling their paper and plastic waste, but only some know how to recycle...
Why is it crucial to recycle mercury waste properly

People actively participate in recycling their paper and plastic waste, but only some know how to recycle mercury to prevent its toxicity. It will come as a surprise to you that mercury is a common element. It is present in several household appliances. These are fluorescent bulbs and lamps, batteries, LCDs, old thermometers and barometers, antique gadgets, etc. Although in its liquid form, mercury is not toxic. However, it can turn toxic when exposed to chemical environments. Not properly disposing of electronics or appliances that have mercury in them may lead to serious consequences. It is always wise to alert your local waste disposal authorities to handle mercury electronic waste. Recycle Technologies is a waste disposal company that aims to provide reliable and cost-efficient services.

About Recycle Technologies 

Recycle Technologies has been providing its services in the USA since 1993. We are a Midwest-based recycling and shredding company. We have facilities in Minnesota & Wisconsin. We pride ourselves on being involved with the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers (ALMR) in the USA. It means we adhere to all rules and regulations when updated and renewed. Our commitment gives us a moral edge to find out community-safety ways of disposing of electronics waste. You can contact Recycle Technologies for all your waste disposal needs near Minnesota or Wisconsin.

Why Is Mercury Dangerous?

Mercury doesn't pose a risk when it comes in contact with skin or is ingested. However, when smaller amounts of mercury come in contact with groundwater, lakes, streams, and other water sources, the situation goes from bad to worse in seconds. In reality, the bacteria attack the elemental traces. This microbial interaction results in a change in the structure of mercury, transforming it into a poison known as methylmercury. From these sources, the toxin moves up the food chain (primarily due to fish and meat consumption) until it reaches us. In humans, methylmercury enters the bloodstream, where it produces poisonous compounds. The dangerous aspect of methylmercury poisoning is that it is infectious. Studies have shown traces of the poison in babies and children who have had no direct contact with the substance but their parents did.

Can Mercury Be Recycled?

The problems with mercury poisoning do not end at eradicating gadgets carrying the substance. As it happens, to recycle mercury in its elemental form is next to impossible. However, mercury can seep into appliances and electronics when unused for a long time. It is precisely why safety is recommended to handle light switches, fluorescent bulbs, and other electronic units. Recycle Technologies usually recommends that you wrap the device in a zip-lock when removing mercury-based electronics. If the device is significant, an airtight container will serve the purpose. Keep it away from the reach of toddlers and kids, and contact us at (800) 969-5166 or dispatchwi@recycletechnologies.com immediately.

Things Not to Do When Recycling Household Mercury Items

Please remember that you should NOT do any of the following as a way of mercury disposal:

  1. Do not break open items that contain mercury
  2. Never pour mercury down the drain
  3. Never light mercury on fire
  4. Do not put mercury in the trash

Why Recycle Technologies is Best for Mercury Recycling

Recycle Technologies has provided many electronic recycling services to small businesses and global corporations. We have also been pioneers in lightbulb processing since 1993. Recycle Mercury Since we believe our efforts directly impact the environment and the community, we have taken the middleman out of it. What it means is that we perform your recycling in one of our Midwest facilities. We do not send Items to any landfill or a third party for disposal.

Recycling Mercury E-Waste

Collection of mercury waste, among other “universal waste,” can be done in two ways: you send out a package to a facility nearby, or we come to pick it up ourselves. It largely depends on the state and municipality regulations. Some regions in the United States claim all fluorescent bulbs are hazardous. Others do not. Usually, mercury e-waste is heated so much that the physical and chemical properties of the material ultimately change. It is also known as the roasting of mercury, which is done in retort recycling facilities. Some mercury is vaporized or given off into the atmosphere in small percentages. The vaporized mercury is cooled and collected for reuse. Mercury-contaminated phosphorus powder + filters are shipped to a distillation company. Contaminated products are recycled, liability is eliminated, and products are back to use in industry. Glass is put to further use in industrial products. Aluminum caps are collected and sent to an aluminum salvage partner.

Utilizing the Statewide Regulations to Recycle Mercury Waste

If we talk about Minnesota, the State Pollution Control Agency has set some rules and regulations about recycling mercury and its disposal. As a part of ALMR, we are bound to follow these handling and recycling procedures. Some of the most important ones are listed below:

  1. Elemental mercury and compounds may be sold only for specified uses.
  2. All products must be labeled to inform users of mercury before sale and at the time of disposal/recycling.
  3. The manufacture and sale of nearly all mercury-containing products have been phased out.
  4. Removal of mercury in solid waste or wastewater is prohibited for households and businesses.
  5. All mercury must be recycled.

In Wisconsin, possessing mercury-based products is prohibited, and the devices containing inorganic mercury need recycling.

In Conclusion

Recycling mercury not only saves the planet but cuts costs as well. Getting it from old products reduces the need to mine more out of the ground. For example, old dental amalgams, or fillings, can be recovered and reused in new amalgams. Massive amounts of mercury are required daily to create new products worldwide. However, recycling firms and programs aim towards a closed-loop approach. Want to know more about where and how we provide US recycling facilities? Contact us now at +1 763-559-5130 for the Minnesota facility and +1 262-798-3040 for Wisconsin one. You can also email us at dispatchwi@recycletechnologies.com.

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