Caribbean LED Lighting has been disposing of incandescent, halogen, CFL and florescent tubes since 2012. We use proprietary EPA approved machines to do this.
The process involves the “bulb eater” machines being placed on top of 55 gallon metal drums and hermetically sealed. The bulbs are pulverised and through centrifugal force the mercury, metal and glass are separated inside the drums. The bulb eater machines have a two stage hepa filter and a carbon filter to ensure no mercury vapour escapes into the environment. Each drum contains up to 1350 crushed 4ft florescent tubes or equivalent. Once full the bulb eater machines are removed and the drums again sealed for transportation to an EPA approved recycling centre in Florida. The drums are shipped in 20ft containers. All personnel involved in this process wear PPE.
We carry out this process to ensure as little mercury as possible enters our environment and this process is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility policy. According the the USA EPA website:
“one 4ft florescent tube contains enough mercury to contaminate 7,000 gallons of drinking water”
This fact alone should encourage everyone to dispose of these bulbs responsibly. Sadly since 2012 despite repeated offers to the Barbados Government and directly to the previous PM, to recycle and dispose of all redundant CFL, incandescent, halogen and florescent tubes on the island we have been stonewalled.
We would be delighted to work with you and your colleagues to address this issue. The volumes we have processed so far are very low in comparison to what we believe are the actual numbers being thrown into our landfill.”
Below are the number of bulbs crushed by year since we have begun bulb disposal:
- 2012-3,265 bulbs
- 2013-2,530 bulbs
- 2014-1,683 bulbs
- 2015-5,263 bulbs
- 2016-3,190 bulbs
- 2017-9,087 bulbs
- 2018 to date-3,680 bulbs