The data, released by the Environment Agency (EA), shows a significant growth in the lamp collection rate in 2015. Commenting on the news, Nigel Harvey, Recolight CEO explains ‘It is particularly pleasing to see that the 2015 recycling rate bounced back up from 2014. This is probably due, in part, to the recycling of fluorescent waste resulting from major LED integrated luminaire roll outs in business premises across the UK. The lamp recycling rate from 2013 to 2014 saw a drop when, for the first time, the data included LED lamps as well as Gas Discharge Lamps. With very large quantities of LEDs being sold – but very few being returned as WEEE, the inclusion of LEDs inevitably reduced the rate.’
Turning to the luminaire recycling rate, he added ‘The luminaire recycling rate has increased from 2014 to 2015. However, the tonnage of luminaires collected in 2015 is only 5 per cent higher than in 2014. The rate increase is therefore primarily due to the 12.7 reduction reduction in the tonnage of luminaires reported as put on the market. This reduction is likely to be a result of dual use classification, which means that any luminaires that could be used by consumers are now out of scope of the WEEE Regulations.’
Recolight launched its luminaire compliance service in 2013, and that has helped to double the luminaire collection rate from 2013 to 2015. Many luminaires continue to be returned as scrap, and not properly reported and recycled as WEEE, and this contributes to the low recycling rate.
Note: The recycling rates above were calculated by dividing the tonnage of WEEE reported by all PCSs, by the tonnage of EEE placed on the market in the same year, for luminaires (category 5) and lamps (category 13). These calculations do not include non-obligated WEEE.