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WEEE Compliance for LED Lighting in UK with Recolight

WEEE Regulations are UK-specific requirements for electrical and electronic equipment to be recycled when it reaches end-of-life.
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WEEE Regulations require electrical and electronic equipment to be recycled when it reaches end-of-life. Roasters, hairdryers, compact fluorescent lamps (or low-energy light bulbs), and in May 2010, LEDs have also been classed by the Environment Agency as "in scope" for the WEEE Regulations.

The WEEE Regulations took effect in 2007 to meet EU requirements for manufacturers and producers to take responsibility for the safe disposal or recycling of their products when they reach end-of-life.

Most manufacturers comply with end-of-life mandates by registering with one of the many Environment Agency-approved compliance schemes which manage the process on their behalf.

Recolight for Lighting Industry

The lighting industry established its own scheme, Recolight, to manage recycling in-scope Gas Discharge Lamps which includes fluorescent tubes, metal halide and sodium SON and SOX lamps. Founded by GE, Osram, Philips Lighting and Havells Sylvania, Recolight members represent the overwhelming majority of all Gas Discharge Lamps put on the market, and a network of over 900 collection points for the collection of business waste.

 

Through Recolight, the lighting industry has funded the recycling of more items of WEEE than any other industry, demonstrating its commitment to meeting the requirements of the Regulations and keeping this potentially hazardous waste stream out of landfill.

LEDs "In Scope" for the WEEE Directive for Importers

The WEEE Directive is undergoing a review and LEDs will be specifically named in the scope of the recast Directive which is due in 2010/11. In the meantime the Environment Agency has already classed LEDs as in-scope for the WEEE Regulations so companies importing or producing LED and OLED lamps need to comply with the WEEE Regulations now.

WEEE Regulations

Under the WEEE Regulations a producer, importer or anyone who puts new lamps on the UK market for the first time must take responsibility for their products when they reach end-of-life.

Compliance services like Recolight ensure member compliance with the WEEE law and manage the collection and recycling process, which in the lighting industry can be many years after the original sale of the product.

Complying with the Regulations covers the cost of future recycling and setting up the necessary infrastructure to make recycling as simple as possible. In the lighting industry in particular, where the life of a lamp may be over five years or more and its ownership may change several times during that period, this means that the end-user or contractor will not be left paying to recycle, which in turn should encourage greater recycling rates.

Penalties by the Environment Agency and other enforcement bodies supports community recycling, investing in the collection infrastructure and building awareness to keep this hazardous waste out of landfill now and in the future.


Edited by Carolyn Allen, Managing Editor of Solutions For Green

Publication Date: 11/8/2010
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