Buying Guides - Recycling & Product Disposal
Published: July 26, 2011
When your products have reached the end of their useable life, ensuring that you either recycle or dispose of them responsibly is something we feel very strongly about. A surprisingly large amount of refuse can be recycled - up to 60% of rubbish that currently ends up in a dustbin could have been recycled. At a time when conserving as much energy as possible is more important, environmentally and economically, than ever - it costs more money to make products from raw materials than recycled ones, meaning prices will have to go up - it is as good a time as any to start recycling.
Effects on the Environment
Whilst not recycling means that we waste a valuable potential energy source, disposing of products incorrectly can have an actively detrimental effect on the environment. Harmful greenhouse gases and chemicals are emitted from waste in landfill sites. Add this to the fact that disposing of certain rubbish without due care can be hazardous to your own health and you have an exhaustive list of reasons to recycle and dispose of waste appropriately.
So, what can you do?
Here at Lyco, we have provided an in-depth series of guides into helping you make the most out of our products after they have served their purpose, and ensure that they don't do any damage to the environment. Read through the various methods by which you can recycle and dispose of light bulbs, appliances, chemicals and plastics, and play your part in helping to make our world a wonderful place to be in the future.
Old Light Bulbs
You can easily recycle old light bulbs by taking them to waste disposal sites - usually run by the local council - which have allocated areas for light bulbs. They pose a problem for home recycling because they are made up of both glass and metal. Ikea can also recycle household light bulbs.
Energy Saving Lighting
Lighting is often one of the biggest issues when it comes to energy wastage. With homes, offices and factories up and down the country using lights at various times throughout the day, energy consumption can soon add up. In some industries lighting is essential throughout the day for health and safety reasons, however even where light fittings are in constant use, there is always room to make savings.
If your light bulb has burned out but is still intact, there are a number of arts & crafts ways to recycle it. You can remove the bottom and insides and place it in a spring metal eggcup to use as a vase, or you could create an original decorative display by painting and stringing up a series of bulbs. There are plenty more ideas online. Try visiting here for instructions on how to make a faux birdhouse or create Christmas-themed light bulbs. Think up your own ideas too!
There has been recent focus on the dangers of disposing of energy-saving bulbs. Because they contain small amounts of mercury, disposing of them in a normal waste bin could be problematic for the environment later down the line. Instead, it is best to take them either back to the retailer - provided they are members of the Distributor Takeback Scheme - if the bulb is intact, or to a local waste disposal site if broken.
If you place the used light bulb in a sealable bag before disposing of it with other refuse, it won't cut open the bin liner if it breaks up during transport. Always use rubber gloves too, and try to avoid inhaling the dust from broken light bulbs.
Worn Out Appliances
There are a number of beneficial things you can do with old appliances rather than simply throwing them away. There is so much emphasis on recycling plastics, paper, aluminium, glass and general waste that worn out appliances often get neglected, leaving people unsure what to do with them.
Most dealers are now obliged to accept your old appliance upon delivery of the new one. If not, they should be able to advise you on where best to take it. Ensure that they are a part of a recycling programme though or you could find it just ends up in a landfill site anyway. All importers, rebranders and manufacturers of electrical goods are now required to comply with WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) regulations. WEEE is a directive dedicated to reducing the amount of electrical and electronic equipment produced, and encouraging everybody to recycle and reuse it. If returning a product isn't possible, you can take the appliance to a waste & recycling centre; your local council will usually run one of these. Staff there can advise you on how best to dispose of or recycle your particular appliance.
If you are simply replacing the appliance and it is not defunct, why not try seeing if anybody else will take it off your hands? If there is nobody locally or on the Internet that will claim it, you can try relevant charities and organisations.
Recycling your appliances keeps harmful chemicals out of landfill sites and consequently the atmosphere. Also, useful resources can be recovered that would otherwise had to have been harvested from raw materials, saving energy and money.