Metals News
Washington reports high recycling rate for fluorescent lights
industry news
Sep 30,2015

By  Paul Ploumis 29 Sep 2015  Last updated at  08:40:22 GMT

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): According to official statistics released by LightRecycle Washington, nearly 422,000 fluorescent lights containing mercury were collected during the initial six-month period of the year.

Peter Thermos, Program Manager for LightRecycle Washington noted that the collections have well exceeded their expectations. The high recycling rates are extremely encouraging, he said. He further added that the high recycling rates indicate that Washington residents are highly aware of the need to recycle lights that contain harmful mercury which could cause impairment of neurological development.

State law mandates that all mercury-containing lights be recycled in a safe manner. A single fluorescent light contains trivial quantity of mercury in it. If broken, these bulbs release toxic mercury vapor into the atmosphere. Also, millions of such lights are sold in Washington every year. The cumulative mercury content in all such fluorescent bulbs and other lights such as high intensity discharge (HID) lamps could pose threat to human life and environment, if not properly recycled, Thermos said.

The LightRecycle Washington program, run by LightRecycle Washington -the not-for-profit organization in partnership with the Washington Department of Ecology was started on January 1st, 2015.

The program has established a chain of collection centers throughout the state for collection and recycling of mercury-containing lights. Residents are allowed to drop up to 10 mercury-containing lights per day for free at the authorized collection centers. The program accepts lights including lamps, bulbs, tubes, or other devices that contain mercury and provide functional illumination in homes, businesses, and outdoor stationary fixtures.

LightRecycle is a family of recycling programs that are operated by PCA Product Stewardship Inc. (PCA), a non-profit industry association, specializing in product stewardship on behalf of the manufacturers, distributors and retailers of products that are regulated under provincial Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws.

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