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[ Focus on: Lamp recycling ] Do WEEE know


Is the electrical industry really aware of what the WEEE Regulations are all about? Three years since they came in Nigel Harvey, chief executive of Recolight, reports on a survey into attitudes towards environmental responsibility amongst electrical contractors


Light work: lamp recycling to comply with the WEEE Regulations


enough?


and electronic equipment, including waste lamps. The 2009 research showed considerable regional


variation in awareness levels of the WEEE regulations, but this year’s survey has indicated that awareness is now very high and businesses are predominantly doing the right thing when it comes to recycling waste lamps. Since the WEEE regulations came into effect in July


2007, all producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) have been legally required to fi nance the collection and recycling of their products when they reach end- of-life. A producer is anyone who puts electrical or electronic equipment onto the UK market for the fi rst time, which includes importers and own-branders. In the lighting industry, all gas discharge lamps are classed as in-scope. This includes Compact Fluorescent Lamps (fl uorescent tubes, metal halide lamps, mercury and blended lamps, high-pressure and low-pressure sodium lamps, and others). In order to comply with the WEEE Regulations, companies join a compliance scheme, such as Recolight, which puts the correct processes in place


Progress Now, three years after the regulations came into effect, it was very encouraging to see that our research showed two-thirds (64 per cent) of those surveyed claimed the safe disposal and recycling of waste lamps is ‘totally embedded’ within the culture of their business; a further 26 per cent place ‘a great deal’ of importance on such matters. Whilst the research shows contractors of every size are


About the author


Nigel Harvey Nigel Harvey is chief executive of Recolight, a not-for-profi t producer-led compliance scheme specialising in the recycling of gas discharge lamps. For more information visit the Recolight website www.recolight.co.uk


I 24 ECA Today Winter 2010


n 2009, Recolight the UK’s specialist lamp compliance scheme, carried out research with electrical contractors to determine awareness of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)


Regulations. Our focus was with smaller operators to establish how many contractors recycle their end-of-life lamps, and what method they use to do so. This year we conducted more research with electrical


contractors of all sizes across the country. We wanted to learn how seriously they are taking their environmental responsibilities when it comes to recycling waste electrical


taking their waste lamp recycling responsibilities seriously, it is within the larger businesses where good practice is most established. Among those contractors with a turnover of £10m or more (74 per cent) or with more than 50 employees (76 per cent), three quarters say that recycling is totally embedded in their business’s culture. Medium-sized businesses were more likely to say they


This demonstrates that the industry is taking its environmental responsibilities very seriously


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