Recolight: UK among the best in Europe for the recycling of Lamps

Figures provided by the leading European lamp recycling schemes show that the United Kingdom was the second largest recycler, having collected and processed 5,370 tons of lamps. Germany, France, Spain and Italy were among the leading countries, all having contributed significantly to the 24,000 tons of lamps collected and processed in 2013 by the countries reviewed.

The international data was collated and submitted by the leading European lamp recycling schemes, including Ecolamp in Italy, Ambilamp in Spain, Récylum in France, Lightcycle in Germany and Recolight of the UK.

The latest annual lamp recycling data for five European countries:

Country 2013 Lamp Recycling (tons)
Germany Over 9,600
UK 5,370
France 4,590
Spain Over 2,500
Italy 2,380

Table 1 – European Recycling Platform data

The UK’s contribution to European lamp recycling is expected to grow. Figures released by the Environment Agency show that the UK has achieved a year on year increase in lamp recycling rates since 2008, from 23.2 per cent to 52.8 per cent in 2013. This considerable growth will hopefully continue in order to meet recycling targets that are outlined within the recast WEEE Directive, including a national target for all WEEE categories of 45 per cent of the three previous years’ EEE by 2016 and 65 per cent by 2019. In addition, lamps accounted for 3% of tonnage of business EEE placed on market, but represented 25% of business WEEE collected.

Recolight has contributed significantly to the increase in UK lamp recycling having recycled more lamps, LEDs and luminaires than all other UK schemes combined. Additionally, in November 2013, Recolight 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.

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