Why Recycle - it's the most environmentally sound, low cost decision you can make.
All fluorescent and the vast majority of the lights we retrofit - including equipment like ballasts and thermostats - contain hazardous materials. This retrofitted equipment must be properly disposed to avoid serious environmental, health, and fines by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Our partnership with Veolia Environmental Services provides a low cost, cradle to grave service, that certifies your retrofitted lights are recycled while offering the proof you'll need to keep the EPA and State authorities satisfied.
Lighting retrofits are one of the most common and effective energy conservation measures available. Simple math proves replacing lights (T-8 / T-12) and magnetic ballasts with LED lights saves energy. In addition, these newer lights and ballasts provide a better quality of light, are quieter, last longer, and are a great financial investment to reduce operating expense while increasing the value of your property..
The lights you replace with the retrofit including all fluorescent bulbs and many magnetic ballasts contain hazardous materials that must be disposed of properly. In addition to potential health problems, you can be subject to hefty fines if you improperly dispose of these materials. These fines can be up to $27,000 per day and can include criminal penalties.
Mercury is a toxin that does not dissipate in the environment. It is a bio-accumulative toxin that builds up in the human body, adversely impacting health.
Fluorescent and other types commonly used lamps contain small amounts of mercury. In 1976, the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulated that mercury must be managed as a hazardous waste. This classification is dependent on the amount of mercury collected and the timetable for its disposal.
If the weight of the waste lamps is less than 220 pounds, or approximately 300 four-foot T-12 lamps, then the lamps can be considered "Conditionally Exempt Hazardous Waste." If this exemption is not applicable, the waste can then be managed as "Universal Waste." This classification streamlines the disposal process saving time and money, while ensuring that the mercury is handled properly.
Disposal of lamps containing mercury may be eligible for Business Energy Tax Credits in some states.
In 1979, the EPA banned the further manufacture of equipment containing PCBs. Ballasts manufactured after 1979 that do not contain PCBs are labeled "Non-PCB."
Most fluorescent light ballasts manufactured before 1979 used capacitors containing PCBs. Sealed inside the capacitor is about a teaspoon of concentrated PCBs. Potting material surrounds the capacitor, which is encased in a ballast box. Magnetic ballasts containing PCBs must be disposed of in accordance with formal hazardous waste procedures.
Postponement of a lighting retrofit only delays an impending problem. A ballast leak or fire could take place without warning at any time. If a leak or fire happens in the middle of a work day, employees could face serious long-term health problems. In addition, cleanup is lengthy and costly.
Organizations are responsible for leaks in their fluorescent lighting ballasts. When conducting a lighting retrofit, an organization becomes a generator of PCB-containing ballast waste and could be liable in any potential Superfund cleanup for improper disposal or release into the environment.
The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 was enacted by Congress to give the EPA the ability to track the 75,000 industrial chemicals currently produced or imported into the United States. Many States and the EPA conduct compliance inspections.
In order to remove PCBs from a facility, you must hire a qualified contractor with experience in PCB-removal, or provide adequate in-house disposal training in compliance with EPA regulations. Federal law requires that, as a generator of PCB (or any hazardous waste) a Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest must be completed. A copy of this document is available from the disposal company scheduled to receive the waste. A business, school, or organization is also required to have a hazardous waste generator identification number. You can obtain this number by filling out and submitting EPA form 7710-53. (Click here for Instructions)