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New Energy Saving Light Bulb Disposal Unit Helps Cut Toxic Waste

After years of research and development perfecting the technology behind energy saving light bulbs, fluorescent and incandescent bulbs are also getting a Mother Earth makeover thanks to a new machine recently unveiled in the United States.Known as the Bulb Eater, the machine created by Innovative Technology and Environmental Solutions Inc, chomps up incandescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent tubes such as the ones commonly found in kitchens. It crushes the glass part of the bulb and contains the chemical content such as mercury encased within the bulb itself.

Fashioned out of a steel drum with interconnecting tubes and vessels, the simplistic appearance of the Bulb Eater belies its clever function. Around 60% of home owners throw their CFL bulbs in to their green rubbish bin along with other non-recyclable household waste according to a recent survey. Although these types of <span style=color: #000000;>light bulbs contain only a tiny amount of mercury, incorrect disposal – in this instance throwing out with regular rubbish – means that mercury ends up in landfill and can leak out into the environment. Even with the small amount contained per bulb, having more the one in two households get rid of bulbs in this way means the quantity can soon mount up.

Although only a handful of the Bulb Eater machines are currently in existence (some in the US and one in the Philippines), they promise to make the humble light bulb even more environmentally friendly if rolled out on a larger scale.
Fashioned out of a steel drum with a series of interconnecting pipes and shoots, the user simply feeds the bulb to be disposed of into the Bulb Eater. It works by breaking down the bulb into smaller components such as shards of glass. The mercury and phosphorous chemicals contained within the device are separated within the Bulb Eater using two filters, preventing them from being released into the environment. Each single Bulb Eater can store 1 tonne of mercury, or 10,000 bulbs.

While you may not currently be able to recycle with the Bulb Eater if you live outside of the United States, you can do your bit by correctly sorting used light bulbs from regular waste. Ensuring you replace the incandescent bulb with an energy saving lightbulb will also contribute to a greener planet. To browse a full range of energy saving bulbs, visit

Created by Steve Ellwood on 11th July, 2011


Steve Ellwood

Steve Ellwood

Qualified as an Electrician, founder of BLT Direct