Industrial and commercial businesses in Canada’s Ontario region must prepare to comply with provincial regulations banning lamps from landfill disposal by 2020. With that regulation in mind, resource management company Veolia has unveiled a new lamp recycling facility to provide businesses with a more sustainable, circular economy solution to responsibly manage these wastes within Canada.
Veolia’s new 5,000 square foot, state-of-the-art recycling facility located in Pickering, Ontario will provide lamp-recycling services for customers across Ontario and other Canadian provinces; other electronics and mercury-bearing wastes can also be handled for customers out of this facility as appropriate. Veolia currently provides industrial cleaning and hazardous materials management services from this location.
Advancements in technology have allowed the company to “break down and reclaim even more materials, especially hazardous materials, and prevent them from entering the waste stream,” says Veolia North America president and CEO William DiCroce.
Veolia has already been supporting the lamp recycling needs of the area via its Port Washington, Wis., facility, but spent lamps gathered in Ontario had to be transported to Port Washington for disassembly, mercury recycling and glass and metal recovery. With the new Pickering facility, spent lamps will be processed in Ontario, a move that the company says will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions from diesel fuel usage by 796 metric tons per year.
Veolia says it has invested in state-of-the-art equipment to crush and separate expired mercury-bearing lamps like compact fluorescents into three components: metal, glass, and phosphor powder. Ninety-nine percent of the glass and metal wastes will be recycled locally by Veolia. Only the mercury-bearing phosphor powder will have to be transported to Veolia’s Port Washington facility for retorting and recycling.
Although the majority of a mercury-containing lamp can be recycled, according to the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers, only 24% of the approximately 600 million mercury-containing lamps discarded each year are properly recycled in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations. By separating products into their components and reusing the components and by-products, businesses and consumers reduce waste, divert waste from landfills, save energy and conserve resources.
Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Tak Aoki