A north eastern local authority says it is the first council in the UK to recycle its old lighting since the introduction of waste electrical legislation. Gateshead Council is replacing 4,000 office lighting units with more energy efficient ones as part of its energy saving strategy. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) introduced in July aims to increase the re-use and recycling of electrical and electronic goods and reduce landfilling. Lumicom has provided Gateshead with a skip for storing the old lights and will empty and collect them later for recycling. Existing lighting dates back from when the councils Civic Centre was built in the 1980s and uses groups of four 40w fluorescent tubes. These are being replaced with custom designed units from a company called Thorn, which supplied the original lights, using four 14w tubes that mimic natural light. Gateshead Council head of design Peter Udall said: The original lighting units were supplied by Thorn more than 20 years ago, but both their light output and their energy consumption now fall far below that of modern units, and they are becoming expensive to maintain. He added: "We are delighted to be able to set a lead in recycling our old electrical equipment in this way.