Government’s WEEE move could mean free lamp recycling

A Government decision should mean that most companies can now benefit from free of charge or reduced cost lamp recycling.

It has announced the 2016 WEEE targets – including a much higher target for waste lamp recycling.  The target, set at 6882 tonnes, represents the quantity of waste lamps that must be recycled by LED and gas discharge lamp producers in 2016, through their WEEE compliance schemes.  

Crucially, for the first time, that target is based on a forecast of the total tonnage of waste lamps that is likely to be recycled in the UK in 2016.  In other words, in most cases, if a business has waste lamps that need to be recycled, there should be a WEEE scheme that needs those lamps to meet its target.

The move will be seen as good news for any companies that are likely to need waste lamp recycling this year. Contractors, wholesalers, major end users, and luminaire producers selling LED integrated luminaires are all likely to find themselves with waste fluorescent lamps that need to be discarded.

The target was set after the Government published new guidance early in 2015 implementing dual use rules.  These rules require lamp producers to classify most new lamps supplied as household.  This in turn means that lamp producers will need to fund their fair share of the lamp recycling target.  So the change may increase costs for some LED and gas discharge lamp producers – but should reduce their customers’ recycling costs.

Recolight chief Nigel Harvey told Lux Review: ‘The Government has got it right.  By implementing dual use, the Government has levelled the playing field.  Setting a higher target that reflects the quantity of waste lamps actually likely to arise was logical.  It will also support an increase in lamp recycling.

‘Where we have the capacity, Recolight may be able to make our own free service available to companies holding waste lamps that meet our eligibility criteria.’