What is the Fluorescent Lamp Recycling Program?
Manhattanville College collects all fluorescent used lamps on campus and stores them for recycling.
Why Can't Used Fluorescent Lamps Be Discarded In The Regular Trash?
Fluorescent lamps contain small quantities of mercury that may be harmful to the environment and to human health. Though the quantity is relatively small, mercury from broken or crushed lamps in landfills can leach into the environment. The disposal of these lamps are also regulated under the Resource Conversation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Regulating these lamps as a universal waste under 40 CFR Part 273.
How Does The Recycling Program Work?
Each time a used lamp is changed it is stored in special containers so the lamps remain unbroken until pick-up. Once the school has collected a sufficient number of these bulbs a company that handles this type of waste is called for collection.
Are There Alternatives to Traditional Fluorescent Lamps?
The two main alternatives to fluorescent lighting are halogen and sulfur lights. Although halogen lamps do not contain any mercury, their use is discouraged by the EPA due to their low energy efficiency. Since we are motivated both by environmental responsibility and economic factors, halogen lamps are not an attractive choice. In addition, halogen lamps have been known to cause fires, especially on college campuses, mainly in resident hall rooms. The other lighting option, sulfur based lamps, seems to be very promising for the future. These lights are fairly new, and are not widely available for consumer use yet.
Contact the Manhattanville College Operations Department at 914-323-5415 if you need additional information or other assistance.