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Lighten the load

Research shows that when it comes to recycling waste lamps, facilities managers are making progress but still missing out on cost effective options available to them. Nigel Harvey, Chief Executive of the leading WEEE compliance scheme for lamps, talks to us about how waste lamps

can be recycled efficiently and cost-effectively through Recolight. A recent Recolight survey found wide differences in attitudes to and awareness of lamp recycling in the FM sector. Although it was encouraging to see that 65% of the facilities managers and companies surveyed recycle all of the waste lamps that they collect, there was also a significant minority (18%) who only recycle half or less. The most surprising finding, however, was that 42% of FM companies continue to pay for lamp recycling, unaware that free recycling may be available to them through Recolight.

Recolight provides free of charge lamp recycling services for a range of organisations, from hospitals and universities to electrical contractors and wholesalers. Funded by over 100 lamp producer members, Recolight represents the majority of the lamps put on the UK market and collects all waste lamps regardless of manufacturer. Whether you have tens or thousands of old gas discharge lamps, or just a few to recycle now and again, Recolight can help you access free of charge recycling services. Companies can join Recolight’s dedicated collection point network for waste lamps from businesses.

Recently, the threshold companies needed to meet to qualify to join the network was lowered, from


collecting 1,000 lamps every three months, to collecting 1,000 lamps every six months, giving facilities managers with smaller quantities of waste lamps access to Recolight’s free collection services. Facilities managers who do not meet the threshold can lease a container for the length of a specific project. When the container is full, Recolight will collect it and recycle the contents free of charge and return the deposit paid. Alternatively, you can make use of one of the 300 business collection points across the country, open to any organisation wishing to dispose of lamps.

With new recycling targets set to come into force over the next two years, facilities managers are key to the UK meeting its obligations. However, the research showed that 14% of facilities managers are not aware of the WEEE Regulations. With this in mind, Recolight is committed to raising awareness and partnering with organisations to increase recycling rates.

Recolight in action

Steve Sims, Estates Stores Manager for Cwm Taf Local Health Board in Wales, is responsible for ensuring the proper disposal of the Health Board’s waste lamps. When a lamp supplier informed

Steve of Recolight’s free of charge collection service, he was keen for Royal Glamorgan hospital and Prince Charles Hospital to sign up, to improve the efficiency of the hospitals’ disposal process.

Steve, who has been very pleased with the service the hospitals have received, commented: “The collection points are ideally placed, and make disposing of our waste lamps easy and convenient. Partnering with Recolight has enabled us to cut our costs, as we now neither have to pay for our recycling, nor use our staff time to crush lamps and bag them up. Using the service has allowed us to take in lamps from other hospitals in the area and I have recommended it to other estates stores around the Health Board.”

In the last 12 months, the two hospitals have collected approximately 15,000 lamps between them. As the sites also accept lamps from other hospitals, the initiative is contributing to the wider area’s effort to reduce waste. @Recolight

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