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Waste luminaires achieve 83% recyclability rating in Recolight study

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It’s a fact of life that many luminaires still go to waste sites rather than being recycled, however, Recolight wanted to know just how recyclable these luminaries are. 

Recolight contracted SWEEP Kuusakoski, based in Sittingbourne, Kent, to assess the recyclability of waste luminaires, with the company treating a mixed sample of 3 tonnes of luminaires. The analysis established the recycling and recovery rate of materials through their recycling process. 

After a detailed assessment period, it was revealed that over 83% of a typical batch of luminaires can be recycled. In fact, just 2% of the materials used in these luminaires were destined for landfill, with over 14% going to produce energy. 

Nigel Harvey, Recolight CEO, commented, “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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