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Q&A Recolight


Nigel Harvey, Chief Executive at Recolight.


Catch up with Recolight


As August is our green issue we thought it would be the ideal time to sit down with Nigel from Recolight…


Nigel, it’s great to see you again! We have heard you have been busy; do you have any exciting projects to tell us about? It’s good to be here! There’s been a lot going on at Recolight recently. The Government’s WEEE consultation has been a big focus for us over the last few months alongside our ongoing recycling activities. We’ve now funded the recycling of over 175 million lamps since July 2007, and lamp recycling rates have increased from 27% in 2008 to 39% in 2012. Since the beginning of 2010 we have also seen our membership more than double from 56 to over 127 members, with a 16% increase in the last 12 months alone.


One particularly exciting development for 2013 is that we are now redistributing the phosphor powders captured during the recycling process to our members, enabling them to extract the vital rare earths essential in the production of new lamps – demonstration of our commitment to achieving a circular economy.


The revision of the WEEE Regulations has been opened up to consultation; how does this affect the UK producers? All UK producers, including those who just import rather than manufacture, are obliged to meet the regulations set out in the WEEE directive. The first phase of the WEEE consultation has now closed and the Government is set to announce the details of the new regulations, and probably a further consultation in August. In the consultation the Government makes proposals to change the household WEEE system. Currently, companies that control household waste have guaranteed buyers for that waste, which leads to excessive costs for schemes like Recolight. The four options the Government is considering for the household system are:


1 Do nothing and allow the regulations to remain as they are; 2 Implement a ‘National Producer Compliance Scheme’, instead of competition between current compliance schemes; 3 Set targets for compliance schemes along with a “compliance fee” alternative if the targets are not met and;


4 Match collection sites to compliance schemes.


The new regulations are also expected to contain much higher targets for WEEE collections - 45% of the average of the three previous years product put on the market by 2016, and then increasing to 65% by 2019. With the annual recycling rate for lamps in 2012 at 39.5%, the target of 45% by 2016 would appear realistic, but 65% more challenging. These changes will affect all UK producers. We will see to what extent in the coming months - we will keep you up to date!


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