Mayor Chris Beutler today praised efforts to upgrade buildings with energy efficient lighting, but said the old lighting must be handled properly to protect public health. Old ballasts and bulbs may contain hazardous materials like PCBs and mercury and should be recycled appropriately.
"Doing the right thing with energy efficiency also means properly disposing of lighting materials, and is essential to community health and the environment," Beutler said. "The City of Lincoln seeks to be a role model and has contracted with a major recycler to haul away over 8,000 lights and ballasts replaced through this Cleaner Greener Lincoln project. This very small cost — about $900 — is a mere fraction of the overall upgrade cost, but insures that our old lighting is appropriately recycled and not added to our City landfill."
The Mayor's Cleaner Greener Lincoln is working with the Lincoln Electric System (LES) to upgrade lighting in nine City facilities — the "F" Street and Easterday Community Centers; the Bennett Martin, Gere and Anderson libraries; Center Park Garage; the police garage; the Lincoln Water System administration building; and Old City Hall. The $227,000 project is being funded with federal stimulus funds.
Milo Mumgaard, who heads the Cleaner Greener Lincoln initiative said the upgrade will save taxpayers thousands of dollars in operating and maintenance costs in the future. In the Center Park Garage, for example, the old metal halide lights have been replaced with LED (light-emitting diode) lighting, that is cleaner, brighter and uses less than half of the energy of the old lights. The City will save about $25,000 a year over the 20 to 30 year life span of the lights.
The City is recycling two kinds of waste:
WasteCap Nebraska has a comprehensive list of retail locations that accept burned-out fluorescent lamps and also can provide resources for direct collection of larger quantities from business entities.
More information is available at: