Category Archives: CFL

Concentrating on value

In an earlier post we posed the question why fluorescent powder from waste light bulbs, which could be said to contain higher concentrations of heavy rare earth elements (REE) than virgin rock ore that is being mined, is not economical for urban mining. The question is worth revisiting in light of recent developments. The first has been some new research by … Continue reading

CFL/Closing loops/Policy and legislation/WEEE 0

Good lamp, and bad data, collection

We have written before about the issues with collecting small WEEE like lamps.  So the question is, how are countries doing in the EU with collecting and recycling of lamps, particularly mercury containing gas discharge lamps?  To find the answer, we had a look in the Eurostat WEEE statistics. First we should say that nearly everyone we have spoken with … Continue reading

CFL/Denmark/Disposal and Collection/Norway/Policy and legislation/Sweden/WEEE 0

Meet “The Collector”

I have been checking out the new “Samlaren” or “The Collector” here now in grocery stores southern Sweden.  Samlaren was a design project by Renova and Chalmers students in response to the need for better small electronics collection. Four Samlaren were tested in Gothenburg in 2009.  The first year Samlaren collected 4.5 kg of waste (compared to just over 5kg at five recycling centers). A study … Continue reading

CFL/Disposal and Collection/Sweden/WEEE 0

Recycling rare elements in lamps

A reason for energy efficient lamps being important for resource efficiency and circular economy agendas has much to do with the rare and critical elements found in fluorescent and LED lamps. Rare earths are used on the phosphor coating of lamps to produce soft white light (a well as other colours of light). While rare earths for lighting only account for 7% of the global … Continue reading

CFL/Closing loops/General Knowledge/Policy and legislation/WEEE 1

Where do all the lamps go?

One question I heard asked many times, and have asked myself, is where do lamps go after I have brought them for collection?  In Sweden (and currently also Norway and Denmark), the answer is Nordic Recycling in Hovmantorp. Household collection from apartments and other collection sites is aggregated in the same yellow bins found at the recycling centers and transported … Continue reading

CFL/Closing loops/Denmark/Disposal and Collection/Sweden 0

IKEA reversing material flows?

We’ve given attention to Samlaren being unveiled in Sweden, but we should also mention other similar initiatives aimed at increasing household collection of lamps in Europe. One such initiative is the reverse vending machines being installed in select IKEA stores in the UK and Denmark.  The idea is simple. Similar to deposit refund or pant machines, these machines give an incentive … Continue reading

CFL/Closing loops/Denmark/Disposal and Collection/UK 0

Lighting and the environment – the global perspective

I mentioned in an earlier post about the phase out of inefficient lighting in many countries around the world (shown in the map from UNEP above) and the need to ensure we are recycling and dealing with used lamps in an environmental sound manner (countries with some measures in place are shown in the map from UNEP below). It might be worth … Continue reading

CFL/Closing loops/Disposal and Collection/General Knowledge/LED/SSL/Policy and legislation/The future of lighting/WEEE 1

Lightcycling in Northern Germany

So I was visiting the suburbs of Hamburg, Germany recently and was asked to dispose of a used CFL lamp.  The owner knew it didn’t go into the trash or other recycling picked up through the curbside services, but where does it go? In Germany there is often a “Recyclinghof” nearby in the suburbs where people can bring household recyclables free of charge. … Continue reading

CFL/Disposal and Collection/Germany 0

Lighting – what do you know?

When we think of “old” light bulbs we might think of the incandescent developed and commercialized by Swan and Edison in the 1800s.  But do you know the first demonstrated form of electric light was in the form of a gas discharge lamp in 1705? Modern energy-efficient lighting like CFLs and LEDs find their roots in the earlier versions of carbon arc and incandescent lamps. … Continue reading

CFL/General Knowledge/LED/SSL 0

What’s the big deal with small lamps?

In much of the literature around recycling light bulbs there is mention that many consumers are unaware that they can and should recycle these products when done with them.  Because they are small, it is often easy to just throw them in the rubbish bin. However, like other e-waste light bulbs contain metals, glass, and other materials that can be recycled … Continue reading

CFL/Closing loops/Disposal and Collection/General Knowledge/LED/SSL/WEEE 1