General / WEEE Recycling

Waste Light Tube Storage

smashed light tubesThe storage of waste in the workplace is an important consideration. It has a direct impact on the safety of colleagues as well as an environmental impact. Wheelie bins or larger containers secure general waste and recycling but what about your waste light tube storage? If the way you store light tubes look something like this image, we recommend continuing reading.

Light tubes are hazardous when broken as they contain a mercury phosphor. If this phosphor is released, it is dangerous to the environment. Storing light tubes in the correct way reduces the risk of breakage and the release of the phosphor.

Pure Planet Recycling handle thousands of light tubes each year so we’d like to think we have some experience in this area. We often give advice on how to store and handle waste to our customers, so we’ve come up with the following tips;

Light Tube Storage Tips

waste light tube storage

  • Wherever possible store waste fluorescent light tubes horizontally.
  • A container for the tubes help reduce impact damage and contains any breakages. Cardboard boxes can be used but a specific light tube storage container works best. Mark the box so others know the fragile contents.
  • Electrical tape (not masking or parcel tape) is perfect for putting together batches of tubes for ease of movement. It firmly holds the tubes together and reduces the chance of breakage.
  • Containers can easily hold all lengths of tubes if loaded correctly. Keep the longest tubes together then keep the smaller sizes in line with the larger tubes, as pictured here.
  • New tubes are sold within cardboard sleeves, so once swapped, putting the old ones back into the sleeves gives them extra protection.
  • A small vacuum cleaner can effectively clean up the residue from breakages. Brushing the waste only spreads the dust further. We would recommend a separate vacuum for this, labelled as hazardous. Once full the contents can be carefully emptied into a box and recycled at the same time as the tubes.

How To Store Waste Light Bulbs

Whether at home or in the workplace when you swap out a light bulb you need a safe place to store the old ones. Your bin is not the place for them; recycle them! When bulbs are dropped or knocked, they break easily so containing them works best.

light bulb crateThere are various ways you can store waste light bulbs. At home, a small cardboard box works great.If you clearly label it, it shows the whole family where they go. Then when next visiting the household waste recycling centre you can empty the box into the containers provided.

Within the workplace, you’re likely to need a more robust and large container. This style of plastic container is ideal to store a large volume of bulbs and cfls. A lidded container gives the added benefit of protecting the bulbs from anything dropped onto it.

If you need further help in how to store your light tubes or bulbs at work please call us on 01234 315496

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