Sainsbury’s introduces eco-friendly light bulb recycling

Photo by armisteadbooker

Sainsbury’s recycling facility at their Sydenham branch is one of the first stores in the country to collect energy-saving light bulbs in addition to portable batteries.

The supermarket has partnered with light bulb recycling specialists Recolight. Sainsbury’s is the first retailer to offer joint recycling of batteries and bulbs, following a successful pilot in late 2009. The scheme has been rolled out across 200 of the company’s larger stores nationwide.

Sainsbury’s Environmental Affairs Manager Jack Cunningham spoke of his hopes for the scheme: “We’re going a step further than most retailers by offering to recycle energy-saving bulbs in addition to batteries.”

“People want to recycle light bulbs but are often unsure of where the nearest recycling facilities are. Our recycling points will be visible to millions of customers every week, and we hope that this will help to increase recycling rates in the UK.”

The partnership is an important move towards providing consumers with a wider range of options to make recycling low-energy light bulbs as easy as possible. By combining the collection of both batteries and light bulbs, Recolight can use the same transport infrastructure for both products, helping to reduce CO2 emissions.

Petra Holden, 34, of Sydenham, is delighted the scheme is running at the Sainsbury’s Savacentre: “It’s really handy they’ve started running the facility, otherwise I know I’d just throw them away. It’s always good to do what you can for the environment.”

Jamie Taylor, 48, of Catford, also hopes the recycling facilities will be successful. He said: “I’m glad Sainsbury’s have taken the lead, hopefully the other supermarkets will follow. I’ve just disposed a load that I had – maybe Sainsbury’s should advertise it a bit more so people will know about it.”

The scheme uses specially-designed collection containers, situated in the recycling areas of larger stores. All light bulbs and batteries collected will be sent for recycling at approved treatment facilities.

Nigel Harvey, the Chief Executive of Recolight, a non-profit organisation, said: “We have already had considerable success keeping commercial lamps out of landfill. Working with Sainsbury’s will help us to significantly increase the number of consumer lamps that are recycled. Research has indicated that consumers will recycle energy-saving light bulbs if they have access to suitable drop off points. Sainsbury’s stores provide an excellent location for these joint collections.”

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