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RE: Preventive Maintenance For Lamps

I think the idea of finding easily-accessed locations within a facility
for using still-functioning bulbs could work. Someone would have to
consider what are the economic and environmental costs/benefits for
retiring a bulb early vs. finding other uses for older bulbs that are no
longer as efficient.

Something else to keep in mind is the storage issue. Where I used to
work, it was a chore to find storage space for dead bulbs once we
learned they were to be recycled and shouldn't be thrown in the trash.
It could prove difficult to not only find additional storage space for
used, but still-functioning bulbs, but to also segregate them from other
bulb storage.

I'm not so sure I like the idea of letting employees take bulbs home.
First off, there's the disposal issue. How many of those employees will
manage those bulbs properly and ensure they are either returned to the
facility or taken somewhere else to be recycled and not just trashed?
And would it be fair to local governments (and taxpayers) that pay to
support household hazardous waste programs to take on this burden of
managing these bulbs if companies don't take them back from employees
when they finally do burn out?

Second, there's the logistics of something like this. Preventive
maintenance programs will be most effective and economical in larger
facilities, which will generate an awful lot of used bulbs and probably
more than employees could be reasonably expected to use, especially
considering the types and sizes of bulbs used in
commercial/institutional facilities vs. employees' homes or even
garages. How likely is it that facility managers that are constantly
pressured to reduce overhead costs are going to want to dedicate any
staff time to administering a program like this? Will it cost less in
staff time to find homes for these still-functioning bulbs than it does
to simply recycle them?

I thought maybe it might make sense to include used bulbs in a
materials exchange program, but I can't imagine there would be much
demand for bulbs that wouldn't be very reliable (getting free bulbs
might not be such a great deal if you have to replace them monthly),
plus there would still be some or all of the same storage and
administration issues noted above.

Mark Snyder
Pollution Prevention Specialist
Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance

>>> "Reibstein, Rick (ENV)" <Rick.Reibstein@state.ma.us> 8/31/2004
12:32:39 PM >>>
In all this discussion about how it can be economical to change out
still-functioning bulbs, which I am sure is true, might there be
something we can do with those still-functioning bulbs?  Why not store
them somewhere and use them in easily-accessed locations, where there
no critical problem about a loss of function, and where this is no
particular labor saving in changing them out with all the others?  I
see some of them being taken from the high ceiling you have to get out
big ladder to deal with, when it makes sense to change out everything,
and then being used in the office hallway for a few more months, where
it's no big deal to reach up and change them out one at a time.  Why
don't we suggest that companies let employees take them home if they
want?  There must be any number of old-age home options for bulbs to
live out their remaining time happily.   

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