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Not All Trash Is Created Equal!


Environmental Recycling Group Instructs Proper Removal of Universal and Hazardous Household Waste

EAST WINDSOR, CT, 03/02/2005, For many Connecticut residents, the tradition of ushering in the warmer spring weather consists of an annual spring-cleaning of their homes. Northeast Lamp Recycling (NLR), a universal and hazardous waste recycling facility in East Windsor, today announced a list of common household items that should not be thrown out in garbage cans or dumpsters because they may contain mercury and other hazardous compounds.

“Many Connecticut residents are not aware that they have accumulated mercury-containing materials in their homes over the winter and more importantly, how best to dispose of them,” said Robert E. Robert, Vice President of Operations at NLR. “Simply stated, not all trash is created equal and unfortunately, if not removed safely and properly, can lead to pollution of the environment, destruction of wildlife and serious sickness to individuals.”

Specific household items to look for include:

-- used fluorescent lights
-- used incandescent lights (regular bulbs or flood lights)
-- glass thermometers
-- thermostats
-- mercury switches
-- batteries (small button batteries for watches and hearing aids, nickel-cadium rechargeable batteries usually found in cell phones, lithium batteries used in computers and cameras, car batteries)

Mercury is used in liquid, vapor and solid form depending on the particular item and can contaminate through skin absorption or inhalation. It can lead to toxicity of the human nervous system, poisoning of wildlife and pollution of fish and water.
NLR recommends the following safe and environmentally friendly ways to remove such items from your home:

-- store used lamps in a box or case to prevent breakage and take to a municipal recycling center
-- store batteries in a secure dry place out of the reach of children and pets
-- when storing rechargeable batteries for collection, keep them in a vented non-metal container in separate plastic bags. Bring to a retail collection location or a municipal recycling center
-- hold lithium batteries for household hazardous waste collection day in your town
-- using leather gloves, keep automotive batteries right side up and carry in a non-metallic leak-proof container. Take to automotive battery retailer, service station or repair garage or community recycling center.
-- Take mercury containing devices such as thermostats and mercury switches to a community mercury collection center.

“Mercury is a necessary, yet dangerous element of our life, and if just tossed at the local dump, can lead to contamination of air, water and soil,” adds Robert. “If we all take some responsibility in how we handle mercury, our world will be a lot healthier.”
People interested in learning more about proper disposal of hazardous household waste may visit for a free downloadable spring-cleaning universal waste guide.

NLR is a leading provider of comprehensive universal waste management services to the commercial, industrial and residential sectors throughout New England, New Jersey and the United States. It is Connecticut’s first and only Department of Environmental Protection permitted lamp recycling center, whose mission is to reduce mercury contamination associated with the improper disposal of used fluorescent and other mercury-containing lamps and devices through educational outreach and awareness programs. Working closely with the Connecticut State Department of Environmental Protection, the Waste Engineering and Enforcement Division of Connecticut and various State and Federal regulatory agencies, NLR’s goal is to deliver a cost-effective and environmentally safe method of mercury disposal.


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