Lamps, Ballast and Lighting Components Recycling in Canada

Why recycle?

Recycling lamps, ballast and lighting components waste turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. Recycling universal waste conserves our natural resources, it saves money, creates jobs, eliminates waste in landfills, reduces harm to the environment, protects human health and saves energy. Veolia embraces this need through its corporate philosophy and tag-line: turning waste into a resource.

The world is facing both continuous growth in the amount of waste generated by human activities and the rising scarcity or depletion of natural resources. Under these circumstances, we must increasingly focus on recycling and reusing waste rather than on ways to dispose of it. The conversion of waste into a resource is essential to alleviate the scarcity of resources and continue world growth, as well as to protect the planet's natural equilibrium.

The challenge as we see it

Lamps, ballast and lighting components usually contain mercury, lead and other heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or other harmful materials — all of which are considered toxic and hazardous to human health and the environment. The Environment and Climate Change Canada enacted rules and regulations to address the proper management of these materials. 

Our differentiated value

We are one of the largest commercial recyclers of lamps and ballast in the world and work with a broad range of customers to offer environmentally-compliant recycling right here in Canada. 

Our Pickering, Ontario Facility Overview (Greater Toronto Area)
Veolia Pickering’s equipment is able to crush and separate expired mercury-bearing lamps like compact fluorescents into three components: metal, glass and phosphor powder. Ninety-nine percent of the glass and metal wastes are recycled locally by Veolia. The mercury-bearing phosphor powder is transported to Veolia’s Port Washington, Wisconsin, facility for retorting and recycling.
This facility celebrated the completion of its first year in operation in November of 2018. The facility processed 3,750,000 mercury-containing lamps since opening, equivalent to 545,000 kilograms.
Approved Processor of Ontario’s Take Back the Light Program
Veolia North America has been an approved processor of Recycling Council of Ontario’s Take Back the Light Program since 2013. Take Back the Light was launched in June 2008 with the financial support of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Take Back the Light ( is Canada’s first comprehensive fluorescent lamp recycling program. The program’s goal is to responsibly recycle fluorescent lamps that would otherwise be landfilled and to track and verify these activities. 
Support Customers Applications for Local Energy Rebates
We can support customers applications for local energy rebates by providing Certificates of Recycling.

Here's what some of our partners are saying

"Take Back the Light is proud to be partnered with Veolia North America in our commitment to sustainable development and environmental stewardship. Veolia has championed Take Back the Light's milestone of over 26 million lights recycled, by providing a full range of hazardous and non-hazardous waste services. Veolia's electronic recycling group processes material generated from almost every market sector, allowing responsible service providers a platform to demonstrate and flaunt their better business standards. By diverting lightbulbs from landfills and contributing to the circular economy, Veolia and Take Back the Light together have pledged to protect our environment, support responsible procurement and facilitate a resilient circular economy." - Jodi Houston, Program Manager, Take Back the Light – RCO

“Veolia has been a great asset for Robertson’s growing  recycling program. With a  great team and flexible options they constantly provide Robertson and  our customers with quality service.” - Kate Sproat, Branch Operations Manager, Robertson Electric Wholesale

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Veolia’s lamp recycling facility provides a sustainable, circular economy solution to responsibly manage these wastes within Canada.

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