The rapid transition to LED has seen large scale roll-outs of LED integrated light fittings across the UK. That is great news for energy and cost saving, and carbon emissions. But it is also important to remember that the UK WEEE regulations mean that companies can insist that the supplier of new fittings recycles the waste lamps and luminaires for free.

Who to contact to arrange lamp recycling
By law, all producers of new fittings are required to be members of a WEEE compliance scheme. The WEEE compliance scheme is responsible for managing its producer members’ recycling obligations under the regulations. Therefore, end users and contractors can require their fittings supplier to organise recycling. And the supplier can easily handle this through their WEEE scheme.

The WEEE compliance scheme is the right organisation to collect and recycle waste electricals. They do this day in, day out, and should have a country-wide network of logistics and recycling contractors. They can also provide certificates of recycling or destruction on request. These can be used to show that the waste lighting has been disposed of and recycled responsibly. Some WEEE schemes, such as Recolight, also offer free containers and free waste collection – that is an important consideration for end users to consider when choosing their supplier. The additional costs of containers and collection may be considerable.

Benefits to the contractor
In addition to the cost savings that should be obtained through access to free recycling, there are other good reasons for contractors getting waste electricals handled in this way:

• Promoting that you take care of all the costs of the displaced lighting can give a distinct competitive advantage for winning contracts.
• The hassle of arranging collection of waste is gone. Lamp recycling is costly, and so to get this funded by the producer is an excellent outcome.
• It often results in better environmental outcomes. If treating the waste fittings is left to the local scrap dealer, there is a risk that they may not be treated correctly. Conversely, a WEEE scheme is required to apply best available treatment methods to any WEEE they collect.
• It should also result in reduced costs and hassle for your Customer. No need for them to deal with additional waste streams.
• For the luminaire producer involved, the process should also be free of charge, where the producer is a member of a scheme such as Recolight. And in any case, WEEE schemes can be expected to benefit from economies of scale, so their own costs should be much lower.

This approach also ensures that the recycling is correctly recorded in the Governments WEEE recycling figures, published each year.