“For the past four years, spent lamps gathered in Ontario [under the Recycling Council of Ontario’s Take Back the Light program] have been transported to our recycling facility in Port Washington, Wisc., for disassembly, mercury recycling and glass and metal recovery,” noted Veolia’s Bob Cappadona.
Veolia invested in equipment to crush and separate expired mercury-bearing lamps into metal, glass, and phosphor powder. 99% percent of the glass and metal wastes will be recycled locally by Veolia. The mercury-bearing phosphor powder will be transported to Veolia’s Port Washington facility for retorting and recycling.
“As technology improves, we’re able to break down and reclaim even more materials—especially hazardous materials—and prevent them from entering the waste stream,” said Veolia North America president & CEO Bill DiCroce.
While the plant’s primary purpose is to provide lamp-recycling services for customers across Ontario and other Canadian provinces, other electronics and mercury-bearing wastes can also be handled for customers out of this facility as appropriate.
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The company notes its new lamp recycling facility provides a “more sustainable, circular economy solution” for managing these wastes within Canada.
— Photos A. Capkun