Recolight: high recycling rate in luminaires

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Recolight has commissioned a detailed analysis to assess the recyclability of waste luminaires.  The results show that over 83% of a typical batch of luminaires can be recycled.

To perform the analysis, Recolight contracted SWEEEP Kuusakoski, based at Sittingbourne in Kent, to treat a mixed sample of 3 tonnes of luminaires to establish the recycling and recovery rate of materials through their recycling process.

Recolight CEO Nigel Harvey said “It was encouraging to learn that 83% of material recovered from our sample of 3 tonnes could be recycled. But it is disappointing that over 14%, the plastic content, didn’t make the grade, and was sent for waste to energy; a process that produces carbon emissions.”

It is however pleasing to note that only 2% went to landfill because it was neither recyclable nor could be used to create energy.”

The bulk of material used for waste to energy was plastics. It seems likely that circular economy legislation and standards may require or incentivise manufacturers to include a proportion of plastic from recycled sources. Recolight would like to see more manufacturers using plastic derived from recycling in the manufacture of new fittings in preference to only using new plastic.

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John Bullock is the editor of The Light Review

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