Why Recycle Self Luminous Exit Signs?
If you have a self luminous exit sign that is reaching the end of its lifespan, you are required by law to follow a step-by-step disposal procedure. For a busy proprietor or building manager, this can be a minor hassle and it might be tempting to just throw it in with normal the normal refuse.
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What will happen next is the refuse will be thrown into a dumpster and taken to a waste processing center. These centers will filter out 10% of all harmful items in any given batch of waste ON A GOOD DAY. It is possible for workers to miss a spent self luminous sign.
After that the sign will be mixed in with tons of garbage and shipped to an unlined landfill that unsuited for hazardous waste products. To an untrained building manager, this process seems as harmless as a few pieces of styrofoam falling in the ocean. No big deal, right?
Leachate Groundwater Contamination
However, this is a very big deal. In 2004 the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental sampled leachate, or the liquid runoff that leaks into groundwater, in 54 state landfills. Tritium was the most prevalent radionuclide found in the runoff, with 53% of the samples exceeding 20,00pCi/L - the EPA limit for tritium in drinking water.
In the past, much of this tritium runoff is assumed to be caused by improperly disposed self luminous exit signs. Since their inception in the 1960's, self powered exit sign customers have had waste disposal services available, however, enforcement was lax. Many building owners threw away spent or damaged exit signs with little regard for environmental impact.
Self Luminous Exit Sign Disposal
Today the EPA, as well as individual state and city Departments of Environmental Protection, have made the proper disposal of tritium mandatory, exacting heavy fines for noncompliant businesses.
Nuclear waste disposal companies must pass a number of tests to be certified through the EPA and their recycling centers are routinely audited. Exit sign companies like SLES have been certified as brokers between these companies and our customers, and we will eliminate all of the guess work for you.
Just call us toll free at 800-379-1129.