Why recycling lighting waste in Australia is so important

Did you know that the mercury contained in one fluorescent tube can pollute 30,000 litres of water beyond a safe level of drinking?

This statistic alone should encourage everyone to recycle their lighting waste, and yet 95 per cent of mercury-containing lamps are still sent to landfills in Australia.

The millions of used light bulbs that end up in landfill are dreadful for the environment, but we can turn this around by recycling lighting waste and urging others to do the same.

Here are the key reasons why you should recycle lighting waste:

Recycling lighting waste protects the environment from toxic materials

Fluoro tubes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and vapour lamps all contain mercury and present the greatest lighting waste risk to the environment.

When these unwanted light bulbs are discarded into landfill, the mercury inside them can leak into the air, soil and waterways, as seen in the Minamata tragedy.

This toxic heavy metal can transform into the highly toxic methylmercury in waterways, where it is bio-magnified through the food chain.

The level of methylmercury increases each time a small fish containing methylmercury is eaten by bigger fish, which are eventually eaten by humans.

Recycling lighting waste recovers reusable resources

Light bulbs are made of a variety of materials, including mercury, ceramic, glass, aluminium and phosphor.

We can recover resources like these from lighting waste when it’s recycled, reusing those materials in a range of new products.

Alternatively, if old light bulbs are thrown into the general waste bin, they end up in landfill, where those resources are wasted.

Recycling lighting waste reduce business costs

The cost of dumping waste in landfill continues to rise, with most state and territory governments introducing landfill levies.

Businesses that recycle fluoro tubes and other lights can also avoid fines in Victoria and South Australia, where there are bans on dumping mercury-containing lighting waste.

Recycling also lowers the cost of making new products. Reusing non-renewable materials from recycled products is far cheaper than mining virgin resources from the ground and processing them.

It’s easy to recycle lighting waste

Recycling lighting waste is the right thing to do, whether it’s at home or work.

Recycling household lighting waste is easy, and encourages family members and friends to also improve their environmental footprint.

Simply visit the Recycling Near Me website to find your closest lighting waste collection point and drop them off for free.

Businesses looking to improve their environmental credentials can also recycle lighting waste through custom-made lighting recycling programs.

Recycling lighting waste is good for business, as customers and job seekers increasingly preference companies and organisations with strong sustainability practices.

As Australia’s most experienced lighting waste recycler, Ecocycle offers tailored waste collection and recycling solutions for businesses large and small.

We even provide recycling certificates to show just how much you’re recycling for employees and clients.

Give us a call on 1300 32 62 92 or fill in the form below and one of our lighting recycling experts can help you get started.

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