3 Good Reasons to Recycle Spent Fluorescent Lamps


Twenty-first century facility managers and 19th-century hat-makers may have something in common. In the 1800s, hat manufacturers used mercury to make felt hats. The workers, inhaling the fumes, often suffered from mercury poisoning. Remember the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland?

Mercury is now seen as a significant environmental threat. And facility managers have a role in reducing that threat. The reason is simple, says Steve McGuire, environmental marketing manager with Philips Lighting: "All fluorescent and HID lamp products contain mercury."

If the lamps are simply thrown away and end up breaking, the mercury becomes airborne and can harm the environment, says Jennifer Dolin, manager of sustainability and environmental affairs with Osram Sylvania. Airborne mercury often contaminates waterways, where it ends up in fish that live in them, says Ray Graczyk, president of NLR, a waste-recycling firm. When mercury-contaminated fish is eaten in large enough quantities, it can affect humans' nervous system, particularly those of young and unborn children.

Air Cycle Recycling Options

Whether you manage a large or small facility, Air Cycle has a cost-effective way to recycle your facility's spent fluorescent lamps.

The EasyPak™ prepaid recycling program makes disposing of small amounts of waste simple, and is fully compliant with EPA and OSHA environmental standards.

The Bulb Eater® lamp crushing system safely compacts and stores over 1300 lamps prior to recycling, minimizing time and storage requirements. Learn more » Air Cycle lamp recycling solutions