UPDATE: If you’re a sparky that wants to get started with the VEET scheme, click here to find out how.
The VEET is a fantastic initiative, and one that we fully support. Electricians can actually make money by helping households and businesses to save money. The scheme makes it cheaper to ditch energy-guzzling appliances and lighting for more energy-efficient replacements and it is cutting Victoria’s carbon dioxide emissions by millions of tons each year. That’s good news.
The bad news is that between now and December 2015 we expect to see a big jump in the volume of lighting waste dumped into Victoria’s landfills. Aside from the loss of a lot of useful resources – glass, aluminium and steel – a large number of those old lamps will contain mercury. This includes fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps, mercury vapour, mercury halide and sodium vapour lamps. When those lamps are damaged mercury will be released, and that’s really bad news.
Mercury is an element. It doesn’t break down in the environment. In fact, if it leaches out of landfill and into waterways it can be converted into methylmercury, a far more toxic chemical. Methylmercury moves up the food chain. It gets concentrated in big fish that eat little fish, and eventually it can turn up on our dinner plates. But it doesn’t have to.
A Better Option
The fact is that the mercury contained in lighting waste can be safely and effectively recycled, and nobody does it better than Ecocycle. Our state of the art equipment recovers mercury from a variety of different types of waste, and we ensure it is put to responsible use. Not only that, we also recycle all the glass and other metals from all types of lighting waste.
Only One Part Of The Solution
We are only a part of the solution. We need a lot of help to achieve a high rate of mercury recycling. So to all electrical contractors involved in the replacement of lighting, not just as part of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) but anywhere in Australasia, we say: please dispose or your lighting waste responsibly. There is no reason not to.
It all adds up to a win-win-win: customers save money and energy, sparkies make money, and we all help to keep mercury out of the environment.
Ecocycle provide cost-effective solutions for both the collection and processing of all lighting waste, so give us a call or fill out the form below to talk about the solution that’s right for you.