The Bulb Eater

The Bulb Eater

We are pleased to introduce the BulbEater® to our customers.

The Premium BulbEater system not only crushes spent fluorescent lamps of any length into 100% recyclable material, but also captures over 99.9% of the vapors released! The system, which is mounted to a 45-gallon container, can hold up to 1350 4′ T8 fluorescent lamps.

A three stage filtering process removes hazardous particulates and gases. A recent study showed non-detectable levels of escaped mercury vapor even after crushing 1500 lamps. A new safety control panel has also been added, giving the operator added security by monitoring seven aspects of the machine to better ensure operator safety.

Olson Electric Returns our Crushed Bulbs to Tech Trail Operations

Teck Trail Operations has developed a process to recycle old fluorescent light bulbs. All parts of the bulbs are recycled: glass, metal and mercury. The process was designed in keeping with our stringent environment controls, in order to meet all provincial environmental performance requirements. It utilizes existing equipment and technology at Teck Trail Operations – one of the most modern and efficient refineries in the world. Teck has the capacity and equipment to recycle fluorescent light bulbs, thereby eliminating disposal in landfills. The mercury is recovered for reuse in new fluorescent bulbs, thus completing the recycle loop.

Why should I recycle my old bulbs?

More Canadians are switching to fluorescent light bulbs for the energy saving benefits; however, this brings an environmental issue with it. A fluorescent bulb uses mercury to generate light. This is a potential environmental hazard if not handled correctly throughout its lifetime. Teck ensures all fluorescent light bulb materials received are processed in an environmentally sound manner.

What does Teck do with the light bulbs?

Teck receives pre-crushed bulbs, which reduces the total volume of material thereby making transportation more efficient. This efficiency minimizes the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation. The crushed light bulb material is divided into three feed materials (Glass – Metal and Ceramic – Mercury-bearing dust).

The glass is used as a fluxing agent, which lowers the overall temperature needed to smelt lead. It also replaces a mined source of flux having a two-fold benefit: conserving natural resources and saving energy.

Metal and ceramic parts are smelted to recover lead, zinc, cadmium, arsenic, antimony and mercury. Any non-recoverable materials, such as ceramics, become part the ferrous granule product that is used in the manufacture of Portland cement, finding new life as construction material.

Mercury is recovered from the dust through a Roasting process and captured as a stable mercury chloride product. This is refined by a specialty distiller and sold back to lighting manufacturers for another life-cycle in a new light bulb.


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