The EcoWaste Coalition called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to use a costly recycling machine for the safe management of used fluorescent lamps containing toxic mercury in Taguig City.
In a letter to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, the non-profit group pressed for the implementation of the Lamp Waste Management Facility (LWMF) with mercury recovery that the DOE bought in 2013 from the MRT System International.
“We hope that your office is one with us in recognizing the urgent need for the government to operate the LWMF and implement a practical system for the safe recycling of lamp waste to minimize mercury pollution due to the improper disposal of fluorescent lamps at the end of their useful life,” EcoWaste Coalition president Noli Abinales wrote.
DOE described the facility as a place “where all spent mercury-containing lamps undergo recycling to recover mercury and other by-products (to) avert residual mercury from entering the food chain through landfill leaching into ground water.”
The group was told that the facility would be running by December 2014.
“We are now more than half-way to 2017 and we still see no functional facility that will safely receive and recycle our mercury-containing lamp waste,” said Abinales.
The EcoWaste Coalition also urged Cusi to issue a certificate of concurrence to the government’s ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and to transmit the same to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The Minamata Convention seeks to protect human health and environment by decreasing mercury supply and trade, and controlling mercury emissions and releases in the country.