Environment Minister Dan Norris has praised retailer Sainsburys and waste electrical and electronic equipment producer compliance scheme Recolight for an innovative recycling initiative.
Up to 200 Sainsburys stores are now providing recycling facilities for the co-collection of energy-saving light bulbs and portable batteries.
New legislation means that from February 1 all retailers are required to provide portable battery recycling (see MRW story).
Consumers can drop off their old compact fluorescent lamps, also known as energy-saving light bulbs, at large recycling containers at Sainsburys stores. There will be one flap for batteries and one for lamps as each of the materials will be recycled separately. All light bulbs and batteries collected will be sent for recycling at approved treatment facilities.
Five of Sainsburys stores which include Croydon, Sydenham, Greenwich, St Albans and Haringey have already piloted the initiative.
Environment Minister Dan Norris said: Using energy efficient bulbs saves energy, saves carbon and saves money, and Im delighted to hear that Sainsburys and Recolight are taking the lead with this initiative to make it easier for people to recycle their bulbs when they come to the end of their long life. I very much hope that other retailers follow suit.
Consumers can currently recycle end-of-life light bulbs at any of the countrys 1,100 civic amenity sites. However, Recolight state that this partnership is an important step in providing consumers with a wider range of options to make recycling low-energy light bulbs as easy as possible.
Recolight chief executive Nigel Harvey said: Recolight is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to maximising the recycling of fluorescent tubes which includes energy-saving light bulbs. We have already had considerable success keeping commercial lamps out of landfill. Working with Sainsburys will help us to significantly increase the number of consumer lamps that are recycled. Research has indicated that consumers will recycle energy-saving light bulbs if they have access to suitable drop off points. Sainsburys stores provide an excellent location for these joint collections.
Harvey also said that he did not expect massive volumes initially because energy-saving light bulbs were currently not at their end-of-life stage yet but will be in a year or two (see MRW story).
Sainsburys environmental affairs manager Jack Cunningham added: People want to recycle light bulbs but are often unsure of where the nearest recycling facilities are. Our recycling points will be visible to millions of customers every week, and we hope that this will help to increase recycling rates in the UK.