We avoid waste wherever possible. Our lamps only contain a minimum amount of environmentally damaging substances and we do not use unnecessary packaging materials. We continuously work on improving our products to make them as recyclable as possible. When developing new products, we reduce the amount of harmful substances or, if possible, completely replace them with harmless substances.
Disposal of modern lamps and luminaires
Fluorescent lamps and discharge lamps contain small amounts of mercury and valuable raw materials. LED lamps and luminaires contain electronic components and valuable raw materials as well. That is why these products should not be thrown out with the garbage or other glass, but should be collected and recycled or be disposed of safely according to the WEEE directive and corresponding national law of the EU Member States.
The products of the lamp industry are unique in terms of disposal. Approximately 80% of all used equipment are lamps, but they only account for 1% of the total electronic waste by weight. Our products are fragile and therefore also need to be handled in a specific way at the end of their life. The high quantity, the necessary small-scale logistics, and the requirements for handling these products call for tailor-made organization for best recycling results.
Incandescent lamps and halogen lamps consist of glass and metal and do not contain any harmful substances. Collecting them separately does not make sense so they can simply be disposed of with other garbage. Therefore these two product families are generally not in the scope of the WEEE directive.
In order to take into consideration the specifics already described, large manufacturers within the lamp industry set up CRSOs (Collection and Recycling Service Organizations) in most European countries which organize the collection and eco-friendly disposal of old equipment for the industry. These companies look after the following tasks for us:
Since CRSOs are systems for all WEEE lamps, consumers do not have to sort lamps, which are registered by the WEEE directive, by manufacturer or production date. In most countries private consumers can hand in discharge lamps at most collection points free of charge.
Various recycling procedures have been established for the reuse of LED and discharge lamps for both stationary and mobile operations. These procedures aim at neatly separating the components of the lamps and reusing the remaining material wherever possible. Clean glass is used for the production of new lamps and mixed glass is recycled with other glass. Metal parts go into metal recycling and plastics are mainly recycled thermally. Phosphors are blown out or rinsed out and can be used for industrial processes. The remaining mercury is disposed of appropriately. This is how more than 90% of raw lamp materials is reused.
EU Directive WEEE
EU Directive 2002/96/EC WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) came into force on February 13, 2003. The main objective of this directive is to avoid waste from old electrical and electronic equipment and above all to promote the reuse, recycling and other forms of recovering such waste in order to reduce the amount of waste as well as safeguard resources, in particular by reusing and recycling them.
As of August 13, 2005, the directive needed to be transposed into national law in all EU member states. Since the national regulations came into force, all manufacturers and importers of electronic equipment in the EU member states have been obliged to take back certain products and to ensure that they are processed, reused or recycled. All manufacturers, importers and initial distributors of electrical and electronic equipment, which also includes specific lamps and luminaires, are obliged to be registered on a national level.
All electrical and electronic equipment circulated since the relevant regulations came into force have to be clearly recognizable by labeling the equipment with a symbol showing a crossed-out garbage can.
The member states produce a registry of manufacturers and collect data on the amount and categories of electrical and electronic equipment which are circulated, collected, reused and recycled on their markets each year. In addition, the member states have to produce a status report every three years. National checks will confirm that this has been carried out correctly by each member state.
A revised version of the directive was published in July 2012 and is currently being implemented in the member states of the EU. The key content and objectives have not changed.
Rest of the world
Thanks to the WEEE Directive, the EU and the countries of the European Union are considered pioneers in the collection and recycling of old electrical equipment. However, similar proposals are currently being developed or have already been implemented across the world. LEDVANCE is actively involved in many countries in applying the experiences gained in the European environment. As in Europe, its involvement is organized in cooperation with other manufacturers to meet the needs of consumers and the requirements of collection and recycling.
For emerging and developing countries the use of efficient lighting technologies is an important contribution to safeguarding national energy supplies. LEDVANCE announced its participation in the Clean Energy Ministerial Global Lighting Challenge (GLC) with a commitment to selling 2.5 billion energy efficient LED Lamps by 2023. The Clean Energy Ministerial is a forum of countries working together to promote the global transition towards clean energy generation and consumption. The Global Lighting Challenge, launched in the winter of 2015, is a campaign focused on deploying 10 billion high efficiency, high quality affordable light bulbs, in an effort to combat climate change. Achieving the goal of selling 2.5 billion LED Lamps by 2023 is estimated to save the equivalent amount of energy typically produced by 75 medium sized coal fired energy plants.
Disposal of waste batteries and chargers
Waste batteries and chargers (together ”Waste Batteries“) must not be disposed of in general household waste.
Consumers as end-users are under a statutory duty to return Waste Batteries. Waste Batteries can be returned to the original seller or to the dedicated collection points station (e.g. municipal collection points or in the shop) without extra cost.
Products incorporating Waste Batteries that cannot be removed by the end-user must be disposed of at a collection point for waste electronic equipment. In such cases, the operator of the facilities of the waste electronic equipment is responsible for the appropriate treatment or disposal of Waste Batteries.
Waste Batteries contain valuable materials such as zinc, iron, aluminium, lithium and silver. Some of the materials contained in Waste Batteries (such as heavy metals, including mercury, cadmium and lead) may have a detrimental impact on health and the environment if improperly disposed of. If Waste Batteries are disposed of in the unsorted municipal waste, then harmful substances could be released into the environment. In addition, the valuable component materials are lost. Waste Batteries may contain materials that could irritate the skin, may cause allergies or are highly reactive. Therefore, even those Waste Batteries without the labelling set out below may not be totally safe.
The symbols shown on Waste Batteries have the following meanings:
The crossed-out wheeled-bin means: Separate collection required- Waste Batteries must not be disposed of in unsorted household waste.
The symbols below the crossed-out wheeled-bin mean:
Pb = Waste Battery contains over 0.004% lead
Cd = Waste Battery contains over 0.002% cadmium
Hg = Waste Battery contains over 0.0005% mercury.
Key characteristics of disposal and recycling organizations
Lamps are ideal for recycling as more than 90% of a lamp's components can be reused. Product recycling always aims at reclaiming as much material of a single type as possible in order to safeguard our limited resources and our environment by correctly disposing of harmful substances. This works well with lamps.
In European countries the collection and reuse of discharge lamps is organized by companies, charities and organizations founded specifically for this purpose. Here you can see which CRSO (Collection and Recycling Service Organization) works for and with LEDVANCE in European countries. The national CRSO is your point of contact for issues on lamp disposal.
These organizations mainly operate as non-profit companies and are specialized in the disposal of lamps and luminaires. Close collaboration between organizations and links to manufacturers ensure that technical product development information and requirements of the recycling industry are incorporated as effectively as possible in the high-quality recycling of natural resources.
Point of contact in the member states of the European Union
|CH||Switzerland||Stiftung Licht Recycling Schweiz (SLRS)|
|DE||Germany||Lightcycle Retourlogistik und Service GmbH|
|DK||Denmark||Lyskildebranches WEEE Forening (LWF)|
|GB||United Kingdom||Recolight Limited|
|GR||Greece||Appliances Recycling S.A.|
|SE||Sweden||El-Kretsen i Sverige AB|