Recolight celebrates four years of growth
Recolight is celebrating its successes over the last four years.
Marking the fourth anniversary of the WEEE Regulations, Recolight chief executive Nigel Harvey commented, ‘2011 has been a remarkable year so far for us. We have funded the recycling of over 100 million lamps since July 2007 – the equivalent of filling the Royal Albert Hall three and a half times, or recycling one lamp every second – and since the beginning of 2010 we have seen our membership grow by more than 50 per cent so that we now have over 90 members.’
Committed to increasing the number of gas discharge lamps that get recycled, Recolight has been active in creating strong partnerships with leading retailers and local authorities across the country to create a consumer network ready for the number of lamps that will return for recycling in the coming years. Harvey continues, ‘There will be a significant increase in the number of CFLs reaching end-of-life in the next 3-5 years. We’ve seen from our own research that only 18 per cent of consumers are aware of the need to recycle waste lamps. We need to avoid quantities of mercury ending up in landfill which could have a significant environmental impact. The support from Sainsbury’s, Homebase and Robert Dyas has been instrumental in helping Recolight establish over 750 consumer collection points nationwide in the past 18 months.’
Local authorities in the UK also have a role to play, and Recolight’s outdoor collection container, the Bulbstore Maxi, has now been rolled out across five local authorities including Cambridge, Peterborough, Hackney and Tewkesbury, providing CFL collection services at bring sites to local residents. Twelve local authorities have become partners of Recolight’s volunteer led collection scheme CoBRA (Community Bulb Recycling Alliance), which launched in Reading in October 2010. The project has continued to grow to include local authorities and private businesses with over 60 volunteers embracing ‘Big Society’ values by helping to promote recycling in their local communities.
In June 2011, Recolight announced an extension to the range of collection options for companies collecting smaller quantities of waste, to help increase access to lamp recycling facilities for all. Previously, unless businesses collected at least 1,000 lamps every three months, businesses would have had to take their lamps to another collection point to access Recolight services. With Recolight’s new service, contractors and smaller businesses can still ‘do the right thing’ with their waste lamps. Harvey said, ‘Businesses are at the core of what Recolight does. Over 85 per cent of the lamp recycling that we fund is for B2B lamp waste, and we are continually looking for ways to drive up recycling figures in the UK. That’s why we have launched container leasing arrangements for smaller collectors of waste lamps.’
What does the future hold for business and consumer lamp recycling? Harvey is optimistic, ‘The recast of the WEEE directive will significantly increase targets for recycling, although they will probably not come into force until 2018. But Recolight is taking action now to ensure that lamp recycling is made as easy as and as accessible as possible. There is still much to do to ensure that both consumers and businesses know what to do when the time comes to dispose of their old lamps, but we are confident that we will be able to rise to the challenge of increased targets.’