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Disposing of lamps

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by acoppsa, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. acoppsa

    acoppsa Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    This is my first real post on here even though I've been lurking around for a while.
    I remember reading a post not so long ago about smashing blown lamps before disposing of them to release the gases inside. I've searched but now i can't seem to find it anywhere.
    Is this a normal practise?
    None of the major manufacturers mention it on their websites so what do you guys think?
    Thanks,
    Aidan
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Sounds like a particularly bad idea to me. Some lamps contain some pretty hazardous materials so it would probably be unadvisable to smash them, not to mention the dangers of broken glass. I would call your local dump/recycling facility and see what they require for disposal of lamps.
     
  3. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention the pressure would send glass everywhere. 100% BAD idea.

    Mike
     
  4. acoppsa

    acoppsa Member

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    Thanks for your help.
    It did seem like a silly thing to do but I thought I'd better check.
     
  5. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    And do not dispose of them in glass recycling bins as it contaminates the normal glass.
     
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Recently I worked in a facility where fluorescent tubes were separated into two types. Those with green ends could be placed in regular trash, but standard ones had to be saved for a disposal company. The ones with green ends supposedly have a lower mercury content.

    It probably doesn't help you in New Zealand, [user]acoppsa[/user], but Home Depot stores will accept all used CFLs: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/24/business/24recycling.html.

    Check with your refuse company, but standard incandescent stage/studio lamps contain nothing but glass, tungsten-alloy, and inert halogen gas, and so should be acceptable as regular refuse.

    Short-arc lamps require special disposal, as do especially Xenon lamps which pose an explosion hazard, even at ambient temperatures.
     
  7. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Depends on the lamp type. No don't smash them unless fluorescent and you have a special fluorescent smashing machine for recycling purposes. (My project to get before our next shop lamp change over - hundreds of lamps in the ceiling filled up two drums instantly for only T-8 lamps.) Normal lamp recyclers don't require such a smashing machine but smashing the lamp would save a lot of space. Various models of smasher on the market, all feature special filtering so nothing gets out. You can otherwise if smaller scale in fluorescent lamps, buy and put them in pre-paid for shipping recycling boxes & send them back to the recyclers selling the boxes or get a 55gal drum with bag liner for it and the lamp recyclers will collect up the drum and leave you a new one for a set price.

    CFL's are supposted to be safe for normal disposal or returned to place of purchase, I forget which is most recommended but probably the latter. Don't know, I put them in with my various other arc lamps for disposal.

    Incandescent and halogen lamps are supposted to be safe to normally dispose of but I drum them up also for disposal given the amount per year I have. Another 55gal drum with thick liner. A xenon lamp in theory is also safe for normal disposal but is possibly the only lamp that would need smashing. Believe I remember reading instructions on the xenon lamps for proper disposal of them being something like a 5gal drum sealed and dropped, than normal disposal.

    Don't recycle projector lamps - them expensive xenon ones can have new lamps installed into the housings at a huge cost savings.

    Moving light lamps, shop lamps of any multi-vapor type metal hallide, sodium or mercury vapor need proper disposal. For those I do a 55gal drum with thick liner and store them properly and always with lid on. High pressure xenon lamps for me go in the same container with the exception that they stay in their protective shipping sleeves to contain any broken glass should they break. A 4.5K xenon lamp ain't no more explosive at room temperature than a 1.5Kw Sportslighter metal hallied lamp or even a 400w MV black light lamp - what a mess when they go up. When emptying lamps into the drum I use safety protection so as to assure any lamps falling on other lamps or as load shifts, if something goes up I'm safe.


    At the moment, I have one drum each, arc lamp and halogen lamp that are half full or new and empty as of today, and in storage and waiting for recycling three drums filled with fluorescent lamps, three full to the brim of arc lamps and one of halogen lamps or incandescent lamps from PAR 64 thru A-19 lamps. This in addition to other drums for copper, aluminum, batteries, scrap steel, circuit boards, ballasts etc.

    On the fluorescent tube lamps, if broken they go in with the arc lamps along with the CFL lamps as its simpler that way. The fluorescent lamp drums are only for un-broken lamps and mostly they stay in their individual lamp sleeves to help protect them. Do bi-yearly entire complex lamp swaps so the pallets of lamps come in, out of the individual sleeves come the new lamps, into the sleeves go the old sleeves than into the drum.

    At some point this spring where I work will have to pay about $1K each drum to recycle the arc lamp drums, a not as bad price on the fluorescent lamp, battery, ballast and circuit board drums and an unknown price for the halogen/incandescent lamp drums. Hopefully they will be offset some by the other drums in recycling. At the moment, when full I seal them up and store them until ready to recycle.

    55gal drums might be extensive for smaller houses but smaller drums negotiated with a recycling company could be negotiated I'm sure. First step is to contact a lamp recycler. Most moving light lamp boxes have a link to find out various ones in your area.

    Another option is to contact your lamp supplier. For a while before I was recycling as many lamps as I do per year now, one of my main suppliers would take my bad moving light lamps for me and recycle them with his bad ones coming from industrial building lamp changes. I would fill up kitty litter containers worth of lamps and send them his way for free as a courtousy. Could start by contacting your lamp supplier about this also.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  8. acoppsa

    acoppsa Member

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    Thanks Ship. I'll do this when I next order some replacement lamps.
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Note: Ship changes more lamps in a day than you and I do in a year. He orders new lamps by the pallet. When he recycles he is making a major impact on the environment.:clap: It also means that how people treat him about recycling lamps is a lot different. How you and I get rid of the half dozen burned out lamps at the end of the year is a lot different than how he deals with his barrel. In some areas you may be laughed at when calling for information on proper disposal for your hand full of lamps. My experience has been don't be surprised if the local authorities don't care what you do and don't offer much help.
     
  10. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    In the US, many lamps are regulated as hazardous wastes under the “universal waste program” in Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 273 (40 CFR 273). “Lamps” are defined under 40 CFR 273.5. Fluorescent lamps are included under examples in the definition, but any lamp that contains certain heavy metals would be included. The regulations basically require that hazardous waste lamps by disposed of through permitted disposal facilities. However, under the universal waste program, the process is simplified such that a generator just packages the material and ships it off.

    A provision against crushing fluorescent tubes varies state by state. The federal rule does not specifically prohibit it, although the EPA appears to discourage it because of release of the mercury and exposure of the worker to the mercury. Some states prohibit it. There is a great deal of information at the USEPA website on this subject. Search for “universal wastes” and “universal wastes lamps”

    The differentiation of low- and high-mercury tubes varies by state and most states make no distinction such that all fluorescent bulbs are handled the same way as universal hazardous wastes.

    The universal waste program was created by the EPA to make a streamlined method of handling certain specific wastes that are not captured by the hazardous waste regulations, but should be.

    I don’t know what is done in other countries. You would have to check government agency websites for more information.


    Joe
     
  11. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I just throw the lamps in the trash and move on. I usually end up replacing a few a month keep the semi dim ones on a shelf in the shop just in case of an emergency and for testing fixtures.
     
  12. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Well, a quick guide on toxic problems:

    Good (non toxic)
    Xeon (Shatter danger)
    Quartz / Halogen
    Incandescent

    Bad (contain Hg and other bad ones)
    HMI (lots)
    CFL (some)
    Mercury vapor (MV) (lots)
    Metal Halide (MH) (lots)
    HPS (lots)
    Florescent (some)
     
    acoppsa and (deleted member) like this.
  13. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Xenon**

    Xeon is a CPU for computers made by Intel for use in Servers ;)
     

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