Fluorescent Tube Recycling
Fluorescent Tube Recycling throughout the UK
While some companies will offer basic recycling or 'lamp disposal', Waste King provides a sophisticated yet cost-effective Mercury Recycling Service – using an in-house distillation process - that offers true ‘closed loop recycling’. Recycling fluorescent tubes and lamps via this Service can be the most economical, ethical and environmentally safe option available.
In England and Wales, The Environment Agency has classified fluorescent tubes as hazardous waste. The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has classified fluorescent tubes as Special Waste. This is because the mercury from just one fluorescent tube is enough to pollute 30,000 litres of water beyond the UK’s safe drinking level.
Typically, fluorescent tubes contain 94% glass, 4% ferrous and non-ferrous metals, and 2% phosphor powder. The mercury in the tube is contained within this phosphor powder. Waste King is one of the few companies in the UK that distils and recovers the mercury from this phosphor powder.
Ideally, fluorescent tubes should be recycled or, if this isn’t possible, taken to specific landfill sites which can cater for mercury bearing wastes. The number of these sites in the UK is small and, given the current high transportation and disposal costs, recycling fluorescent tubes and lamps not only makes economic sense but it’s also the most environmentally friendly option.
Apart from the environmentally-friendly aspect to recycling fluorescent tubes and lamps, it’s also vital to do so for your health and safety and the health and safety of your employees. For example, someone who attempts to dispose of a fluorescent tube in a skip not only is condemning the whole skip’s contents to be hazardous waste – which has costly consequences for its safe disposal - but is also exposed to the potential dangers of broken glass and the inhalation of small amounts of the toxic materials that are released as dust and vapour.
Waste King’s Mercury Recycling process involves separating each fluorescent tube’s and discharge lamp’s individual components - and recovering them for recycling or re-use in a variety of industries. Moreover, using its Superior Distiller, Waste King can purify the mercury into various grades – for reuse in various industries. Currently, Waste King sends its recovered mercury to two of the UK’s major lamp manufacturers where it’s used in making new lamps - thereby closing the loop.