1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

June 12, 2008

:164 PCB’s in Ballasts

Filed under: :164 PCB's in Ballasts — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:04 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:164 EcoTip: On the topic of PCB’s Fluorescent light fixture ballasts manufactured in 1979 and before may contain PCB’s. If you have older fixtures they should be checked and any PCB containing ballasts replaced. The old ballast should be disposed as a hazardous waste as discussed in :086.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :086

Replacing PCB containing ballasted fluorescent fixtures now can help avoid a toxic release should the ballast begin leaking the oil and will end up saving you money in the long run since the newer fixtures are more energy efficient.

New ballasts will have the words “No PCBs” on the label. If it is an older ballast and it is not marked – it is probably simplest to dispose of it by assuming it is hazardous household waste and using the service your county is required to provide.

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March 26, 2008

:086 HazMat Disposal

Suggested Review – :029, :056

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:086 Tip: Every county in the U.S. is required to have a plan for household hazardous waste disposal. It may not cover every type of hazard, but most of them are addressed. So if you’ve decided to clean out that pile of unused – whatever, give your county a call first to find out what arrangements they have for disposing of it safely.

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Additional Information

Left over pesticides, herbicides, unused paints and sealants, cleaning products, auto maintenance materials and many other chemicals may be considered hazardous wastes. The label will generally tell you how they must be disposed, but not always. Appliances and electronics contain amazing amounts of hazardous waste materials. Each computer or television contains about 5 pounds of lead. Our appliances also frequently contain mercury switches or thermocouples. Some older fluorescent ballasts and appliances capacitors contain PCBs, fluorescent tubes have mercury, batteries may have lead, mercury and other toxic or hazardous chemicals.

Once you know what options your county has check in on-line at www.earth911.org and entering the item you want to get rid of and your zip code. They provide great information on how to recycle and dispose of just about every type of household hazardous waste product.

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January 29, 2008

:029 CFL Safe Disposal

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:029 Tip: Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) contain an average of 5 milligrams of mercury (older ones may have up to 20 milligrams). They should be recycled to remove and reclaim the mercury to prevent it from contaminating landfills with the hazardous waste. 

cflrecycle.jpg

recycle-pack.jpg

Tomorrow I will talk about what to do if a fluorescent tube breaks.

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Additional Information

href=”https://1510365blog.wordpress.com/2008/01/29/029-cfl-safe-disposal/attachment/108/”>Suggested Review – :028

Every county in the United States is supposed to have a hazardous waste disposal program, but most don’t accept fluorescent bulbs and tubes.

IKEA stores have added mercury recycle/disposal station in its customer service area where they accept used CFLs and batteries at no charge.

Sylvainia corporation has set up a disposal program using the RecyclePac shown above. The pack contains padding material in a shipping box which is sent by to the recyclers. The cost of disposal works out to a little over a dollar a bulb.

Check with www.earth911.org to find other disposal options by entering your zip-code (or call 1-877-EARTH911).

According to the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers: 

“70.8% of the mercury-lamps used by business and 98% of the lamps used in homes are not being recycled.”

You can obtain a copy of their annual report and additional information at www.lamprecycle.org.

EPA has the following website to help you: Find fluorescent light bulb recycling programs in your area

Finally you should check directly with your local waste management agency for recycling options if they don’t have an easy recycling/disposal process in place in your community, you may choose to lobby them and your local community government to set something up.

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