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Sainsbury's and Recolight to expand energy-saving light bulb recycling scheme

Waste electrical and electronic equipment producer compliance scheme Recolight will be rolling out a scheme to collect end-of-life energy-saving light bulbs and batteries from up to 200 of Sainsburys larger stores by the end of January.


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.


Five of Sainsburys stores which include Croydon, Sydenham, Greenwich, St Albans and Haringey have already piloted the initiative.


Recolight chief executive Nigel Harvey told MRW: It was very far-sighted of Sainsburys to agree to the project and we are convinced that it is going to work well for both parties. We get more lamps and they get to give their customers another recycling service. It works well for both sides.


Harvey
added that the scheme would help consumers recycle energy-saving light bulbs but 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.


Recolight also has ambitious aims to work with local authorities to bring 400 recycling facilities for compact fluorescent lamps to local authority sites across the UK. Combined with the 200 Sainsburys stores this will make 600 recycling sites by the end of 2010.


Harvey
said he is already in partnership with Peterborough and Cambridge City Council to pilot 10 collection units for compact fluorescent lamps in March. Harvey said that some household waste recycling centres are collecting compact fluorescent lamps but most predominately collect fluorescent tubes.


He added: We will have a further 400 sites across the UK. The objective is to make facilities for consumers to deposit their end-of-life compact fluorescent light bulbs. Hopefully, in two years time the infrastructure will be in place and the education among consumer awareness raising activities.


Interesting facts:

  • Compact fluorescent lamps were designed to replace incandescent lamps (old-style light bulbs). Over the last few years, many energy companies have subsidised energy-saving light bulbs to give to their customers.
  • Recolight is expanding its education pilot programme named, Big Light Project, aimed at improving understanding among children of the importance of recycling energy efficient light bulbs.

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