Minimise’s best practice approach to recycling recovers 7.5 tonnes of lamps

Minimise Energy is one of the UK’s leading suppliers and installers of energy efficient LED lights. But the Minimise service doesn’t end when the new lights are switched on as the team has adopted an industry-leading approach to re-use and recycling.

“Many lighting companies recycle, but that’s only one element of what they could be doing,” said John Hatt, Contracts Director at Minimise Energy.

“On larger sites all redundant materials are sorted and then either collected by the relevant specialists or taken to local recycling banks. On smaller sites we remove all redundant light fittings and luminaires back to our Kent headquarters, sorting it into recyclable materials. All lamps removed from the light fittings are then collected by our WEEE recycling partner Recolight,” he said.

“But that still leaves us with many more elements that should not end up in landfill.

“New lighting installations also involve the replacement of some existing electrical components within the light fittings, such as electronic ballasts, emergency modules and batteries. We separate all of these elements, segregating them into the relevant metal recycling bins which are then supplied to our specialist metals recycling partner, Medway Metals,” he continued.

“The final waste stream resulting from a retrofit lighting programme is packaging.

“New LED lights are shipped to site inside cardboard sleeves and boxes for protection. We bring these back to our storage facility with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).

“Sleeves and boxes are either re-used for new product deliveries or segregated into cardboard recycling bins which are collected by our waste management partner, Viridor.

“Wherever possible, we seek to re-use fittings on retrofit projects, optimising the cost profile and keeping the quantity of materials sent for recycling to a minimum in accordance with the waste hierarchy,” he said.

The extent of Minimise’s recycling is just as impressive as its best practice processes. In 2015 Minimise Energy recycled 7.5 tonnes of lamps, supplying them to Recolight for processing and onward sale as a feedstock for the manufacturing sector.

That’s equivalent in weight to a London bus (+ a few passengers!).

This quantity of closely managed recycling puts Minimise Energy in the top two per cent of Recolight lamp collection points.

Adrian Willis, Recolight Membership Manager said:

“It’s encouraging to see Minimise making recycling and material recovery an integral part of its service.

“Recolight recovers 95% of material from waste lamps. It is essential that those undertaking large retrofit energy efficient lighting programmes, such as Minimise, capture these products and put them back into the circular economy.”

It is important for clients that Minimise takes responsibility for retrofit recycling, managing the process in accordance with waste legislation and, increasingly, their own sustainability policies and reporting requirements.

Minimise is a WEEE registered waste carrier and aims to recycle or recover 100 per cent of waste generated.

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