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A green solution for fluorescent light bulb disposal

BY LÉO CHARBONNEAU | FEB 09 2009

What’s this? Kristine Spence of facilities management at the University of Saskatchewan is feeding used fluorescent light bulbs into the “bulb eater.” The machine instantly crushes the glass tube and reportedly sucks up 99.9 percent of the mercury and phosphorous inside, which is then re-used for the production of new bulbs. According to Environment Canada, the mercury in one tube can contaminate 30,000 litres of water. The glass is recycled and used in the production of highway paint, and the metal is melted down and re-used as well. The university is currently retrofitting the campus with energy-efficient lights and bought the machine to dispose of the old fluorescent tubes.

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  1. James Dixon / November 26, 2009 at 11:34

    I was pleased to read this article. There are so many offices, universities, hospitals and other large facilities with thousands of these bulbs which will require disposal as more efficient bulbs are designed. If they all discard them in the trash, then there will be an enormous amount of mercury released into the environment. This solution will help fix that problem.