End-of-life mercury-containing lamps should be properly collected and stored to avoid the risk of releasing mercury into the environment. This process is governed by federal, provincial, and territorial laws. It includes ensuring proper handling and packaging to prevent releases of mercury into the air, waste water effluent, and municipal landfills.
It is important that all parties involved in the collection of spent lamps adhere to all federal, provincial, and territorial requirements. Generally, this is handled through a local champion, who works to coordinate the collection of spent lamps in their community. The champion’s role is to promote the initiative to residents, retailers, and waste generators and to support and encourage others to participate.
A local champion is a person who has the expertise and experience to guide the implementation of the initiative in their community. This person will be responsible for coordinating collection efforts, identifying suitable storage facilities, and encouraging other local stakeholders to get on board. In addition to providing information on local recycling initiatives, a champion is able to influence waste generators to keep the lamps in their community.
Public participation is essential to the success of any recycling program. The public should be provided convenient and accessible collection options. These options should be clearly marked. They should be placed in a location that does not interfere with foot traffic.
The type of collection container used should be based on the size of the lamp. Large drums are typically used to collect bulbs, but smaller cardboard boxes can also be used. The containers should be sealed to ensure that there is no risk of breakage. The containers should be placed in a well-ventilated area. They should be set up so that they will not tip and hit a person.
When collecting lamps from the public, it is important to make sure that the containers are clearly labeled as such. These labels should provide easy-to-understand information on the contents of the lamp, the storage and handling of the lamp, and where to dispose of the lamp. Aside from the label, the operator should also post clear signs indicating where the containers are located.
The most significant cost associated with managing end-of-life lamps is transportation. Because of the distance to the processor, these costs can be a significant factor in reducing the amount of lamps collected. When possible, partnerships with shipping companies can reduce the number of transport trips. Alternatively, retailers can put in place procurement programs and procurement agreements with manufacturers, which can reduce the amount of lamp materials that have to be sent to the processor.
The cost of transportation is often the limiting factor when trying to remove lamps from northern communities. In these regions, the majority of new goods are shipped by air or by boat. The price of transportation can vary depending on weather conditions and the distance between the processor and the community. In order to control the overall costs, the operator of a local program may choose to store the spent lamps for a limited amount of time before sending them to the processor.