Recolight celebrates a record year and looks towards the future at annual summer event

Recolight, the leading WEEE compliance scheme for the lighting industry, celebrated at its annual summer event yesterday a successful and eventful year. Highlights included the introduction of the new WEEE Regulations in January 2014, the expansion of its network by over 1000 collection points, the achievement of a major milestone in the amount of lamps recycled, and an extension of its services.

The results of a recent survey conducted in partnership with Voltimum were also revealed.  69.7% of 780 industry participants polled judged Recolight’s recycling service as ‘most important’ for encouraging recycling within the UK lamp industry.

 

June   2013

June   2014

Increase   %

Open commercial collection points

370

1038

181%

Total commercial collection points

1471

2433

65%

Total consumer collection points

828

778

(6)%

Total collection points

2299

3211

40%

Prior year lamp recycling rate

39.5%

52.8%

Prior year luminaire recycling rate

0.6%

2.0%

Membership

129

131

2%

Underlying membership growth rate

20%

 

New WEEE Regulations

The new WEEE Regulations 2013, which came into force on 1st January
2014, contained some important changes for the lighting industry. The guidelines establish a fair system for household WEEE, which is now based upon a target for Producer Compliance Schemes (PCSs), and will include the option of paying a compliance fee if a PCS has not met the target. This means that PCSs are no longer forced to purchase recycling evidence from over-collecting schemes. The updated WEEE Regulations also classify LEDs and discharge lamps as being in the same category, helping avoid the risk of an orphan waste stream as gas discharge lamps are replaced by LED lamps.

Recolight’s expanded network

Recolight is unique amongst WEEE compliance schemes in the UK for having the only dedicated open collection point network for consumer and business waste lamps and LEDs. With the addition of the Rexel Group and others to the Recolight network this year, the number of Recolight collection points has increased by 40% to 3,211. This growth in Recolight’s network, the largest in the UK, has contributed to a significant increase in the UK’s lamp recycling rate, from 39.5% in 2012 to 52.8% in 2013.

Nigel Harvey, Chief Executive of Recolight said, “We have worked hard over the past twelve months to grow our network and are proud to have reached a momentous milestone for our members, having funded the recycling of over 200 million lamps, LEDs, and luminaires since 2007. This astounding figure is a testament to our member’s dedication to improve lamp recycling in the UK and meet the targets set out in the recast WEEE directive.”

Recolight’s new service offering

In the past twelve months, Recolight has also launched its own luminaire compliance service, which was responsible for over 40% of the 984 tonnes of luminaires recycled by WEEE schemes during 2013. Since the establishment of this service, the luminaire recycling rate in the UK has more than doubled.

Recolight now offer a fully integrated lamp and luminaire collection service for our members’ major, multi-site LED luminaire roll out projects.

Recolight was also the first PCS to use an electronic tendering system, custom developed, to allow the organisation to compare bids from recyclers in a transparent and consistent manner.

Looking towards the future

Commenting on his expectations for the coming year, Nigel Harvey said, “Further changes to the WEEE system now seem likely, making it even fairer following clarifications of the definition of household WEEE.  Correctly implementing the definition of household WEEE to include products likely to be used in business or in the household will mean a more equitable UK system.”

The widened definition could result in a higher recycling target for Recolight in 2015, but the organisation nevertheless supports the change, as it will help avoid the risk of an orphan waste stream and will mean that more waste is subject to this fairer, more proportionate system.”

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