There’s a mass movement to replace fluorescent lights with more energy efficient LEDs; but what to do with all those mercury-filled fluorescents?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strict rules for disposing of fluorescent lamps and can impose heavy fines on offenders.
According to a blog posting from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), traditional disposal methods are nightmare, involving packing used lamps back into their original cartons with specific rules for taping and marking the packages, then loading the boxes on trucks and taking them to recycling centers.
A better method, according to IFMA, may be a product – the Bulb Eater from Air Cycle – that crushes the used fluorescent lamps.
The machine can crush up to 1,000 fluorescent lamps, depending on the size of the lamps, and pack them into a 55-gallon drum. The process is fully enclosed and filtered, so that the glass, aluminum, and harmful vapors are contained. When full, the drums can be transported to an EPA permitted lamp recycling facility.