Mercury from energy efficient bulbs going to landfill

Large quantities of mercury could be pouring into landfills as consumers are unaware of the need to recycle energy efficient light bulbs.

According to research published today (February 15) there is a 'lack of awareness' of the need for Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) to be recycled.

The research, by the Lighting Industry Federation and CFLs recycling scheme Recolight, found 69% of people would throw the bulbs out with normal household waste.

Energy efficient bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, which is not a problem in large quantities could become a serious issue for landfill management.

Recolight chief executive, Nigel Harvey, said: "In the next three to five years we expect larger quantities of CFLs to start reaching end-of-life.

"It is essential that we raise awareness now of the importance of recycling these lamps so that they don't end up in landfills.

"We have also set up a community recycling initiative to enable recycling champions to set up recycling facilities in convenient community locations, using our specially designed collection container."

Other findings from the survey were that only 18% of people knew CFLs needed to be recycled through specialised facilities.

However, the research does not state how many people or in what areas of the UK the polling was carried out.

Luke Walsh


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