Bulb Collection Continues To Grow

In 2013, Récylum, the eco-organism responsible for collecting and recycling bulbs, collected 4,591 tonnes of lamps, representing 70 g / capita / year. More significantly, the number of recycled lamps per inhabitant per year reached 0.6 in 2013.

4  591 tonnes of lamps collected in 2013, this represents 39.5 million used lamps collected, or 42% of the lamps put on the market the same year. In 2012, 34.6 million tonnes were collected for a tonnage of 4,270 tonnes. Récylum has collected 14% more lamps, weighing 7% higher.

This collection figure includes all compact fluorescent bulbs ( CFLs) and LED bulbs on http://www.zephyrledlights.com/2016/12/30/free-led-light-bulbs/. It also includes undesirable (halogen and other), but these sorting errors represent less than 0.4% of the total.

Why Recycle Bulbs?

The collected lamps are recycled gradually in Recylum’s treatment centers in France and Belgium.

96% of the weight of compact fluorescent bulbs (traditional “energy saving” lamps) is now recyclable. The glass constitutes 88%. Metals such as iron, aluminum or copper account for 5%. Plastics account for 4% of their weight, but are not recycled, as volumes are insufficient for the establishment of an economically viable sector. Today, they are mainly used thermally. The fluorescent powders covering the inside of the lamps represent 3% of the weight of the lamps.Made of rare earths such as yttrium, terbium and europium, fluorescent powders are recycled in the French factories of Solvay in Saint-Fons and La Rochelle. Finally, mercury (0.005%) contained in fluorescent powders is vitrified and is stored in ultimate waste storage centers.

Where To Recycle Lamps?

To recycle your old bulbs, simply bring them back into the store and place them in the ” Lumibox  ” bins  provided for this purpose. You can also choose to bring them back to waste disposal centers. Nevertheless, it should be noted that they should not be placed in recycling bins in door-to-door recycling or recycling containers, because in this case they will not be recycled!

Author: Matthieu Combe , journalist of the webzine Natura-sciences.com

 

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