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Mercury Frequently-Asked Questions

Please do not! We ask that you do not leave any mercury products outside of the collection facility at any time. It is important that citizens observe this request to help minimize accidental breakages that could harm environmental quality, humans, and wildlife.

YES, as long as the products are coming from your RESIDENCE. Commercial entities should contact Environmental Programs to learn about affordable and responsible recycling programs for their mercury products, as private businesses are asked to reserve operations at the Henderson County Convenience Center for residents only.

 

Businesses can contact three regional companies for supplies and recycling services. For supplies, please spec your needs through Lampmaster. For pick-up or shipping of products for recycling services, please contact CleanLites or Southeast Recycling Technologies. For more information, please contact Henderson County Environmental Programs.

*Please note that operations at the Henderson County Convenience Center are reserved for residents only. Businesses should utilize the Transfer Station.

 

Though mercury is a naturally occurring element, it can be dangerous for environmental and human health, especially in large quantities.

According to the US EPA, “on average, CFLs contain about 4 milligrams of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury – an amount equal to the mercury in over 100 CFLs.”

The amount of mercury in a CFL compared to the emissions of a traditional coal fired power plant, for instance, is minute; however, caution should be taken when handling these items as vapor or liquid exposure can cause serious long-term health risks.  Many scientists in Europe and the US agree that that CFLs, which are highly typical in homes across the US, expose residents to no greater amounts of mercury than are present when eating certain types of freshwater or saltwater fish. Learn more about the various daily applications that contain mercury.

 

Yes! Each part of the bulb can be recycled into a variety of things: mercury can be used again in new mercury containing products, the glass bulb itself can be crushed and made into new glass or cement-type materials, and the metal can be forged into new metal items.

Here are some videos to help you visualize the process of recycling mercury products:

AirCycle Process            Balcan Engineering Process

 

To learn more, refer to US EPA Mercury Recycling for information on CFLs, energy efficiency, and the importance of recycling mercury-containing materials. Further information about mercury can be found here.