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Lamp 15p surcharge is a rip off, says lamp recycler

A Hampshire-based lamp recycling company has criticised lamp producers for introducing a 15p surcharge on lamps under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations. Producers of lamps introduced the surcharge to each lamp they sold and fitted, to cover the cost of treating and recycling under the WEEE regulations. The Lamp Recycling Company director Norman Kemp said: Customers now have to pay a 15p surcharge for every lamp for the recycling of their lamps. I have spoken to recyclers in other European countries and the situation is the same there, 100% of the lamps have a surcharge but only 30% of the lamps get recycled. When the Government writes these regulations, the big companies, both manufacturers and waste companies have got the time to bend the ears of the Government, us small guys have got the inclination but not the time. Who has the ear of the regulators and who is making additional profits at the expense of the lamp users and recycling companies? I estimate that the lamp manufacturers are making around £7 million extra profit from these surcharges in the UK alone. However, Recolight, the WEEE compliance scheme that works on behalf of lamp producers, dismiss Kemps claims. Managing director Eddie Taylor said: In our experience the Government does tend to take a lot of trouble to listen to all parties involved, for example, via open consultations where people can contribute if they wish. Individual members have to make their own commercial decision regarding those costs. For example, whether to increase their prices or absorb these costs. My impression is that producers do not make profit on recycling charges.

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