Sainsburys and light bulb recycling company Recolight will run a scheme to collect end-of-life energy saving light bulbs and batteries from Sainsburys stores.
The retailer claims that this makes Sainsburys the first supermarket to offer a joint collection of light bulbs and batteries for consumers.
Recolight chief executive Nigel Harvey told MRW: We are very excited and we are committed to go beyond the legal minimums of the waste electrical and electronic regulations. We generally seek to maximise recycling and this is a way to meet this strategy.
Harvey said the scheme would help consumers recycle energy-saving light bulbs if they have access to suitable drop off points. He 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.
Batteries that Recolight collect will be passed on to Sainsburys battery compliance scheme Valpak.
Consumers can drop off their old energy saving light bulbs at a large recycling container at the back of Sainsburys stores. There will be one flap for batteries and one for lamps as each of the materials will be recycled separately.
Five Sainsbury stores will trial this new initiative in December and then it will be rolled out across up to 200 of Sainsburys larger stores by the end of January 2010.
Sainsburys environmental affairs manager Jack Cunningham said: Energy-saving light bulbs contain a minute amount of mercury, and it is therefore important to recycle them. Battery collections also become a requirement in the UK from early in 2010. Sainsburys is therefore delighted to be the first national UK retailer to launch a co-collection scheme for both waste streams. The scheme will use the transport services of an existing supplier to Sainsburys. That means that two additional waste streams will be collected with no increase in carbon footprint.
Environment Minister Dan Norris said: Using energy efficient light bulbs can save a consumer £70 off their bills, and will save one million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2020. Its important that people can buy these bulbs and dispose of them properly, and so an energy-saving light bulb recycling service alongside battery collections will make it easier for people, which is great news.