Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho holds aloft a spent fluorescent bulb while Bruce Bustamante, who attended the donation ceremony on behalf of the Alaska Cruise Association, demonstrates how the Bulb Eater¨ recycling system works.

The Alaska Cruise Association has teamed up with the City and Borough of Juneau to donate a fluorescent bulb recycling system that has been successfully used for years on cruise ships in Alaska.

"Bulb Eaters® are aboard many of the cruise ships that visit Alaska and have proven to be a safe way to dispose of used fluorescent bulbs," said Bruce Bustamante, on behalf of the Alaska Cruise Association.

"This system is a win-win for the health and safety of our capital city because now we will have a way to safely recycle spent bulbs," said Jim Penor, solid waste coordinator for the City and Borough of Juneau.

"This is a good example of how the cruise industry can share its cutting-edge technology with Alaskans," said Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho.

Juneau will maintain the Bulb Eater® and house it at the household hazardous waste facility in Lemon Creek.  Residents will be able to drop off used fluorescent bulbs on collection events days free of charge.

The Bulb Eater®, manufactured by Air Cycle Corp. of Illinois, is a machine that crushes spent fluorescent lamps into small fragments. The crushed glass is compacted into a 55-gallon drum for safe disposal. The machine offers better storage of lamps, easier handling, is safer for people and the environment and it reduces recycling costs.

The Bulb Eater® can suck a lamp in about one second. Its filtration system pulls the contaminated air out of the drum to filter out the released powder and mercury vapor. The contaminated air then goes through a two-stage filtering process. A carbon filter at the end captures the mercury vapor and neutralizes it by converting the vapor to mercuric sulfide, which is non-hazardous.

The Alaska Cruise Association has donated Bulb Eaters® to communities throughout Alaska.

Scroll to Top