Take Back The Light Program Success: County Recycling Efforts Making An Impact

In 2017, Haldimand County joined the Recycling Council of Ontario’s Take Back The Light program – Canada’s leading fluorescent lamp and light fixture recycling program for businesses and institutions. As per the latest program statistics, the County has recycled over 14,450 lamps to date.

Upon joining Take Back The Light in 2017, the County’s Solid Waste Operations team set out with a plan: to work collaboratively with staff responsible for replacing fluorescent lighting in arenas, administration building, libraries, and other municipal facilities. A lighting replacement and maintenance strategy was developed, along with a Take Back The Light-approved process for safely disposing of old bulbs and fixtures. In addition, residents were urged to bring their used light fixtures to various hazardous waste drop-off events – residential participation is a key driver for program success.

The improper disposal of fluorescent lamps results in hundreds of kilograms of mercury leaking into the environment and contaminating water bodies. Through Take Back The Light, 98 per cent of each lamp/light collected is diverted from disposal. The light and lamp components – glass, aluminum, phosphorus and mercury – are recycled to make new products.

By recycling 14,450 lamps, Haldimand County has ensured the proper end of life management of .050 kg of mercury, 48.7 kg of phosphorus, 3411.0 kg of glass and 50.0 kg of metals.

Residents who have fluorescent lights or old lamps they wish to dispose of are encouraged to drop them off at designated Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) disposal events run by the County. The next HHW event will take place on Saturday, September 29th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hagersville Secondary School.

Residents with questions about the County’s solid waste or recycling programs are encouraged to consult their Waste & Recycling Guide or download the Recycle Coach app.