Manitoba LightRecycle program launched in May 2012 and accepts residential use fluorescent lights (tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs).The program operates according to the requirements of the Household Hazardous Material and Prescribed Material Stewardship Regulation on behalf of product manufacturers and retailers in the province.
Here you will find a list of frequently asked questions. If you still can’t find what you are looking for after reviewing these questions, please feel free to contact us.
- What is LightRecycle?
LightRecycle is a family of recycling programs that are operated by ReGeneration ( Product Care Association), a non-profit industry association, specializing in product stewardship on behalf of the manufacturers, distributors and retailers of products that are regulated under provincial Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws.
In essence, we are a passionate group of environmentally-minded solutions providers who want to help good people, like you, change the world for the better. We do that by making sure that your spent or unwanted lights end up in the recycling stream and not in the trash.
LightRecycle operates in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec (as RecycFluo) and PEI.
- What is done with the collected products?
Returned or leftover products are brought into an approved facility for processing. Based on the condition and amount of the leftover product, the materials are recycled.
- Where can I recycle commercial volumes of lights and ballasts?
Manitoba’s LightRecycle collection sites are only for residential drop-off and the maximum limit for return at one time is 16 CFLs or fluorescent tubes or a combination of types.
For collection and disposal of fluorescent lamps and ballasts from non-residential facilities, please contact Environmental Disposal Solutions (EDS) by phone or email. Contact information can be found on Green Manitoba’s website.
- What about residential-use lights that have been accidentally broken?
Place the broken item in a sealed plastic bag or a sealed glass container and take it to a nearby LightRecycle depot.
For clean-up instructions (for fluorescent lights that contain mercury such as CFLs and fluorescent tubes), visit the Health Canada website. If you do break a fluorescent light bulb, Health Canada recommends the following cleanup procedures:
- Ventilate the room for at least 15 minutes before you start clean up, removing people and pets from the room.
- Wear disposable gloves, if possible to avoid direct contact with mercury and to prevent cuts.
- Sweep or wipe up the glass fragments and powder using two pieces of stiff paper or cardboard.
- Use sticky tape to pick up fine glass and powder and then wipe the area with a damp paper towel to pick up any residue.
- If the bulb breaks on a rug or carpet, use sticky tape (such as duct tape) to pick up small pieces and powder. Vacuuming should be avoided as it spreads mercury through the area. If vacuuming is necessary, remove the vacuum bag or empty and wipe the canister with paper towel after the area is cleaned.
- Place the broken glass and clean-up materials in a glass container with a tight fitting lid or two sealed plastic bags to further minimize the release of mercury vapour.
- Bring the sealed glass container or sealed plastic bags to a collection site.
- Do fluorescent lights contain mercury and are they safe?
Fluorescent lights (CFLs and fluorescent tubes) contain a small amount of mercury. As there is no safe level of exposure to mercury, care must be taken to ensure that materials are handled properly. The mercury from a compact fluorescent light or fluorescent tube is only released if the bulb is broken.
Follow these few simple steps to safely handle, store and transport compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and fluorescent tubes:
- Recycle all your CFLs and fluorescent tubes to keep mercury out of landfills
- Remove and install the CFL only by handling the base of the bulb to prevent any unnecessary pressure on the glass that could cause it to break.
- Store and transport CFLs and fluorescent lamps in containers such as original packaging that help prevent bulbs from breaking.
- Why are fluorescent lights considered “green” if they contain mercury ?
- Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, reducing your electricity bill.
- CFLs and fluorescent tubes benefit the environment by reducing solid waste since they last longer than incandescent bulbs.