Sometimes, when lamps break or we simply look to replace them for aesthetic reasons, the first thought that comes into our mind is throwing them in the bin. However, what many people don’t know, is that some of them actually contain high levels of dangerous and toxic substances, which is why you should consider making use of a lamp disposal services when light is broken or requires replacement.
Why Is it So Important to Properly Dispose of Your Lamps?
Most high-intensity discharge lamps, as well as fluorescent tubes, contain a hazardous contaminant called mercury. This substance is extremely harmful to anyone and anything that gets in touch with it, be it a human, an animal or plants. Hence, getting rid of these toxic fluorescent tubes and CFL lights in a safe and secure way is essential for you, your family and the environment. There are three major factors of why lamps like that should be disposed of by professionals:
Dangerous for the human body
There is a major danger posed by the toxic contaminants contained in fluorescent tubes and other lamps. As there is no safe amount of mercury for the human body, it is of utmost importance to properly dispose of such lamps. This neuro-toxin can cause tremendous damage to anyone, but especially to growing children and pregnant women. Following, it is essential to keep such lamps out of reach for children at any time. If disposed of in the general bin, a toddler might find it and get in danger. This type of mercury is most harmful to developing nerve tissue, but not only for humans, but it can also disrupt the formation of healthy nervous systems in other species.
If old lamps get disposed of into the general waste stream, they end up in a landfill. If those lamps are fluorescent tubes, they can convert into methylmercury, which is an extremely toxic form of mercury. Following, this heavy metal will eventually join the food chain when carried out through water tables. As a result, this extremely toxic substance contaminates fish and bird breeding grounds. These little species get eaten by other animals and over time puts several animals in danger.
Due to the highly toxic level of fluorescent tubes, there are federal and state EPA regulations that require the proper disposal of such lamps. Incorrect disposal of these items may result in high fines and penalties.
What Is the Proper Way of Disposing Fluorescent Tubes?
By now you have read a lot about why it is important to dispose of fluorescent tubes properly. But what exactly does that mean? According to the Australian government, there are three appropriate ways of getting rid of such toxic lamps in order to keep us and our environment safe:
- There is the option of returning such toxic lamps by mail or so-called pre-paid recycling boxes. The idea is to place bulky fluorescent tubes in a box and send it to a recycling place. Unfortunately, this method comes with a few disadvantages placing the lamps in boxes and sending them off can be perceived as extra work and annoying, which is why some people do not put in the effort of boxing the lamps up. Additionally, sending the hazardous lamps in a parcel, there is the risk of them breaking and possibly harming a person that is handling the parcel. This can especially become an issue if the boxing was not done with a lot of care.
- Another option to properly dispose of fluorescent bulbs is to make use of a bulk service. However, this service comes with a very high risk of light bulbs breaking and causing damage.
- The third and probably most environmentally friendly way to safely discard hazardous waste like fluorescent tubes and CFL lights is to take advantage of a bulb eater lamp disposal service. Like that the dangerous waste is crushed into drums and sent away for recycling. The drums that are used for this procedure are safe and secure and can even be tracked for disposal compliance.
As you can see, there are several different ways to choose from when aiming to safely dispose of hazardous fluorescent bulbs and CFL lights. Which method is the right way for you completely depends on your situation and on how much money and effort you would like to put in this important matter.