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Published on Sep 26, 2008
When Ken Paradise, manager of facility services at Belleville General Hospital, saw The Bulb Eater demonstrated at a trade show in 2007, he knew the device was one that would help BGH in more ways than one. Using over 500 fluorescent tube light bulbs a month, the hospital used to place the used bulbs back into the boxes they came in, and kept them in storage until they were disposed of. The problem with that, Paradise says, was the fact the bulbs were not only taking up space in the hospital, they also posed a danger threat to workers who had to handle the bulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs are easily broken, and within the glass tubing are dangerous gases, including mercury. The threat of these gases escaping, Paradise says, is one The Bulb Eater has eliminated — not to mention the space it has freed up. The device fits onto 55 gallon drums, and, once operating, creates a vacuum with in the drum. A powerful motor takes in tube bulbs anywhere from 1'-8' long in less than a second, and the bulbs are basically disintegrated by the rotating chains within the machine. The three-step filtration process uses both carbon and HEPA filters to separate glass and metal particles, and harmful mercury and phosphorus gases, containing both in filtration bags within the device. This works in a similar manner to the way a household vacuum bag holds all the dust and debris collected from around the home. At $4,500, Paradise says the investment took no time to receive approval, as the green benefits of the device are undeniable. The used bulbs the hospital once sent to landfills in boxes are now decomposed into 55-gallon drums, and the cardboard boxes that once served to protect the glass are now recycled. The device removes 99.9 per cent of all mercury vapour, and one drum can hold over 1,300 bulbs. The device is one Paradise and other hospital staff are happy to see reducing the waste BGH puts out daily, and enjoying the free space this new technology has given them, as well.
For more information on The Bulb Eater, visit manufacturer Sybertech's website at www.swrl.com.
To learn more about Belleville General Hospital, just one part of Quinte Health Care in the province of Ontario, visit their website at www.qhc.on.ca.