"Why should I recycle my lamps?" was a question regularly asked a few years ago. Now, thankfully, most conscientious businesses and their employees are all too aware of the environmental impact of sending fluorescent tubes and gas discharge lamps, containing mercury and other metals, to landfill.
Mercury, sometimes known as quicksilver, is a metal, liquid at room temperature, having unique properties making it ideal for certain applications; fluorescent tube lighting is probably the most common item with which people are familiar. Other items include dental amalgam, thermometers and barometers. Mercury however is classed as 'toxic by inhalation'.
Previous use in the hat making industry, many years ago, led to the expression 'Mad as a Hatter'. The twitching and dementia common amongst hatters was caused by the dipping of felt into mercuric nitrate to soften it. On a broader environmental scale mercury has a bioaccumulative effect in marine life. It is estimated that the mercury from just one fluorescent tube pollutes 30,000 litres of water beyond the safe drinking level in the UK.
Over the last decade or so, thankfully, changes to legislation in the UK and Europe have made it increasingly difficult to dispose of mercury bearing and other hazardous waste streams to landfill. The reduction in the number of landfill sites in the UK licensed to take Hazardous waste has seen disposal charges typically trebled. Given the above information on the dangers to the environment by landfilling mercury bearing waste,coupled with its disposal cost increase, the question should now perhaps be "Where can I get my fluorescent tubes recycled?".
Mercury Recycling offers tailored solutions for all size businesses.