Manchester recycles with Mercury

Mercury Recycling has been appointed to collect and recycle all fluorescent tubes and sodium lamps from the University of Manchester. The University is Britain’s largest single-site university and disposes of over 25,000 fluorescent and sodium lamps per annum. The arrangement ensures that the site is supplied with a number of Lampsafe, and Bulbsafe containers for collection and recycling by Mercury Recycling operatives. Provisional agreement has also been reached over the collection of non-hazardous batteries as the University intends to introduce a battery recycling scheme later this year.
A key element of the company’s environmental charter is to reduce all waste and to ensure any waste that is produced is disposed of responsibly. For example, there is currently no legal requirement in the UK to recycle standard batteries, such as those from TV remote controls, but the company has taken a pro-active stance ahead of the forthcoming battery directive and included them in its recycling policy. In the case of lamps and batteries, responsible disposal requires specialist expertise and equipment.
“We looked at several companies and it was very clear that Mercury had the technology and the expertise that fulfilled our criteria,” said Simon Atkinson, the University’s Waste Co-ordinator. “Mercury showed me around their treatment facility in Trafford Park and have provided full legal documentation so we have a complete audit trail, which is very important.”
Lamps and tubes are replaced as and when necessary by maintenance staff and stored in Mercury’s specially designed, secure containers. Once each container is full it is collected by Mercury and another empty container is left on site. All containers are provided with highly visible health and safety warnings in order to comply with health & safety regulations and ensure the University complies fully with all waste legislation.

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