Expanding Ontario’s Recycling Market to Keep Mercury Out of the Environment
Greentec’s facility in Cambridge, ON becomes an approved processor for Take Back the Light
(Toronto, February 25, 2020) Mercury-containing bulbs and tubes contain potentially hazardous material, and ensuring their safe recovery and recycling is paramount to human and environmental health. Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) is pleased to announce that Greentec, a local recycler of e-waste and lamps, has successfully had its Cambridge facility audited and verified to become an approved processor of mercury-containing bulbs and tubes for the Take Back the Light program.
Established in 2008 with support from the Government of Ontario, Take Back the Light works with lamp wholesale buyers and sellers to offer recycling services to their customers. Since its launch, Take Back the Light has helped collect 29.8 million lamps and recover 104 kilograms of mercury.
Given the toxicity of mercury, processors that service Take Back the Light must undertake an extensive audit and measured against strict standards. RCO, as an independent administrator, verifies that every spent lamp processed through the program is managed responsibly through to end of life to ensure that negative environmental impacts are minimized.
Greentec’s Cambridge facility becomes the first R2 and RCO certified e-waste processor facility in North America to incorporate Blubox technology to process mercury containing electronics such as computer laptop screens and fluorescent bulbs. Greentec is also one of three processing facilities authorized to recycle lights under RCO’s standards. Its inclusion in the program will further expand the safe collection of lamps and mercury across Ontario and beyond. For a facility to become an approved processor it must pass a materials management audit and subject to the program’s transparency requirements.
“We are proud of our partnership with RCO to ensure mercury-containing bulbs and tubes are diverted from our landfills, and recycled to the highest health, safety, and environmental standards,” says Tony Perrotta, President and CEO, Greentec. “By closing the materials loop we ensure the component parts that make up bulbs are managed in a never-ending loop that maximizes resource efficiency, and advance Ontario’s circular economy.”
“More than 60 million mercury-containing bulbs and tubes are brought to market in Canada every year, and only 34 per cent are collected for recycling,” says Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director, Recycling Council of Ontario. “Companies like Greentec are making important investments to expand much needed recycling infrastructure that will continue to make Ontario and Canada an environmental leader.”