A new Veolia electronics recycling facility that serves businesses and consumers in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states has opened in West Bridgewater, Mass., and features the latest state-of-the-art recycling of fluorescent lamps, ballast, batteries, computer electronics and mercury-bearing waste.
Local and state officials joined Veolia Environmental Services employees at an on-site ribbon-cutting event celebrating the new facility, which replaces one in Stoughton, where Veolia has been operating since 2000.
“As technology improves, we're able to break down and reclaim even more materials, especially hazardous materials, and prevent them from entering the waste stream,” stated Jim Bell, CEO and president of Veolia ES Technical Solutions, in an announcement to media. “Our investment in this facility represents our commitment to finding better solutions for lighting and electronic waste as well as ways to minimize the impact of waste on our environment.”
The ability to process and reclaim material instead of sending it to a landfill is a primary goal of the facility. Veolia installed new processing equipment that allows for more than 99 per cent of a fluorescent lamp, by weight, to be recycled. The company not only separates a fluorescent lamp into its core components of glass, aluminum and mercury-bearing phosphor power, but also reclaims the mercury and works with partners to recover rare-earth elements from the phosphor powder.
Veolia currently processes approximately 15.5 million pounds of lighting and electronic waste annually and over 155 lbs. of elemental mercury is reclaimed from recycling fluorescent lamps. New state-of-the-art recycling equipment will provide for an increased capacity for fluorescent lamps by 150 per cent.
The new 55,000-square foot West Bridgewater facility incorporates expanded employee locker rooms and decontamination area, a permitted Class C area for mercury recovery activities and a permitted TSCA/ballast processing area. The facility is conveniently located at the intersection of MA Routes 106 and 24, with access to major highways connecting to the northeast corridor.
All 75 employees from Stoughton facility are now working at the West Bridgewater site. As volumes increase, staffing levels are likely to increase as well.
The facility will serve industrial, commercial and government organizations across West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and the New England States. In addition, Veolia has agreed to provide its recycling services to the residents of the Town of West Bridgewater, at no charge, through the Town's transfer facility.