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Recycle Technologies has been delivering recycling services to the community since 1993. As a recycling and shredding company based in the Midwest, we operate licensed facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Notably, Recycle Technologies stands as the sole Minority-Owned document destruction and recycling enterprise in the Midwest region.
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The Economics of Mercury Recycling: Turning Waste into Value

July 10, 2023
Mercury poses some of the worst environmental risks if handled or disposed of improperly. Not just that...
Recycle

Mercury poses some of the worst environmental risks if handled or disposed of improperly. Not just that, research shows that many neurological diseases stem from improper mercury recycling. Just a simple household fluorescent lamp, switch, or circuit relay contains enough elemental mercury to cause lasting cognitive and pulmonary effects.

It is logical to view mercury-containing waste as a burden. However, businesses worldwide such as Recycle Technologies, find opportunities to turn this waste into value. EPA encourages people to use businesses like ours as a means to end mercury contamination in the long run. What it means is that our recycling methods need to produce better outputs, while increasing awareness. 

In this blog, we will explore how recyclers, specifically Recycle Technologies, handle the economics of mercury recycling to generate benefits and value. 

What Is the Market for Mercury Recycling?

Mercury obtained from mining sources gets used in a wide variety of industries, including electronics and bulbs. All these industries are driving the need for mercury, providing a market where recovered mercury can be useful.

DataIntelo predicts that the global mercury recycling market would grow to $2.48 billion by 2030. In addition, the report claims that the market will expand by 10.5% between 2017 and 2030. Currently, mercury recycling is limited, mainly because of the difficult extraction and retrieval mechanisms. 

Supply and Demand

Aspects such as industrial development, technological advancements, and regulatory changes affect the demand for mercury. It is why we have seen fluctuations in supply and demand in the past.

Recycle Technologies has always adopted the policy of stricter environmental regulations due to the limited availability of mercury resources and an increased interest rate in recycling devices that contain mercury.

We see that in the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota, using mercury-containing gadgets is either banned altogether or cannot be thrown out in the trash without involving a recycling company

The Business Case for Mercury Recycling

Let’s see why mercury recycling presents several economic advantages for businesses and organizations that engage in each step of the recycling process.

Cost Effectiveness

When compared to the price of recycled mercury, recycling is cost-effective. The primary mining process often results in high costs and environmental damage. Recycle Technologies practices and urges businesses to save money and reduce their impact by disposing of mercury appropriately instead of mining for more.

Regulatory Compliance

A handful of US states have stringent regulations regarding adequately handling and disposing of mercury-containing waste. However, EPA is trying to bring other regions into the fold by 2030, which paints a hopeful picture.  

Where there are policies and laws, companies that fail to comply with state-wide regulations can face legal consequences and damage to their reputation. 

We at Recycle Technologies demonstrate commitment to environmental responsibility by engaging in mercury recycling and ensuring compliance with the rules of Wisconsin and Minnesota States.

Want to know how we are making a mark on the world? Check out our website: https://recycletechnologies.com 

Mercury Recycling

Revenue Generation

It’s not all about cost-effectiveness: the process of recycling mercury can also be used to make money. 

Genuine recycling companies focus on sincere efforts to handle mercury, and in return, get revenue generation as a by-product. In each of the recycling processes –  from gathering to processing and selling to bidders, waste gets converted into a valuable resource that may be reused. 

Mercury Recycling Value Addition 

Mercury recycling is a multistep procedure that ultimately increases financial worth at each step of the process. Let’s have a look:

Collection

The initial step in mercury recycling is the collection of mercury-containing devices, such as thermometers, fluorescent bulbs, and electronic waste. Recycle Technologies provides door-to-door collection drives to efficiently collect household items. People can also send us their gadgets using our mail-in process.  

Sorting the collected waste ensures that the recyclable mercury is separated from other materials for further processing.

Extraction and Purification

After collection and separation, we use the technology at our disposal to extract and purify mercury. 

During both phases, we ensure minimal contamination and apply methods that maintain the quality. The recovered mercury is subsequently processed to remove any remaining impurities and bring it up to industry requirements for reuse.

No physical or chemical process yields 100% mercury for recycling, however, we have ways to reach up to 99%. Moreover, as technology advances, we can always hope to bridge the gap soon. We are AMLR-certified recyclers.

Market Opportunities

Many types of businesses can benefit from recycled mercury. Recycled mercury is present in amalgam fillings at dentist offices and as a chemical reaction catalyst in factories. 

Fluorescent light bulbs with recovered mercury can help manufacturers cut costs and carbon emissions. Businesses that recycle mercury can transform trash into cash by seizing these openings.

Challenges to Recycle Mercury With Value

While mercury recycling has significant economic benefits, businesses need to be aware of certain risks and challenges associated with this practice.

Safety Measures and Handling

Because of its toxicity, mercury requires special precautions to ensure the safety of all involved. Accidents and contamination can be avoided with proper training, safety gear, and waste management standards.

Market Volatility

Global economic conditions, regulatory shifts, and advances can influence mercury's demand and price. Businesses concerned with mercury recycling would do well to keep abreast of market developments and diversify their product lines as necessary.

Engineering and Innovation

The economic viability of mercury recycling is because of technological and innovative advancements. Businesses that invest in R&D find that their extraction and purification processes become more efficient and cost-effective, which Recycle Technologies strives to achieve. 

Conclusion

The financial benefits of mercury recycling present significant incentives for commercial enterprises to take part. Businesses also help ensure a more sustainable and ecologically responsible future by reducing costs, increasing revenues, and meeting regulatory requirements. 

Companies can help a circular economy in which waste goods are used as raw materials for new products by treating mercury-containing garbage as a valuable resource. Besides, we realize the benefits of mercury recycling will bring us one step closer to a cleaner, more prosperous future.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at dispatch@recycletechnologies.com or call us at (800) 969-5166.

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Recycle Technologies has been providing services to the community since 1993. We are a Midwest-based recycling and shredding company.
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1525 99th Ln NE, Blaine, Minnesota,
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Minnesota Facility

1525 99th Ln NE, Blaine, Minnesota,55449

+1763-559-5130

dispatch@recycletechnologies.com

Wisonsin Facility

2815 South 171st Street, New Berlin,WI 53151

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widispatch@recycletechnologies.com

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