BC’s LightRecycle Now Includes All Lighting Products
British Columbia now has Canada’s first comprehensive program to recycle all lighting products at no charge.
LightRecycle is a non-profit program to recycle lighting products in British Columbia. Since 2010, LightRecycle has accepted residential-use fluorescent lights at collection sites across the province. Starting October 1, the expanded LightRecycle program accepts all lighting products for recycling without charge, including all types of lamps (bulbs and tubes), ballasts and lighting fixtures used in residential, institutional, commercial and industrial applications.
LightRecycle has two separate collection system channels: an expanding consumer collection network for residential-use lighting products and a new large-volume-generator collection network for lighting products used in industrial, commercial and institutional applications. Examples of large volume generators include contractors, businesses, relampers, schools, hospitals, building managers and more. Each channel has specific collection options available based on the type and volume of products to be recycled.
All types of products are accepted under both channels, including fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), halogen and incandescent bulbs, light emitting diodes (LEDs) and high intensity discharge lamps (HID). LightRecycle will pick up PCB-containing ballasts directly from large volume generators without charge to ensure these hazardous materials are managed responsibly.
“LightRecycle is one of 14 industry-managed recycling programs in the province that reinforces British Columbia’s position as North America’s leader in environmental stewardship and recycling,” said Brock Macdonald, CEO of the Recycling Council of British Columbia. “Expanding the program to include all lighting products from all sectors means that fewer recyclable materials will end up in landfill.”
There are more than 200 collection sites for consumers to drop off their burnt-out lamps and over 80 collection sites across the province for consumers to drop off their old or broken lighting fixtures. There is no charge to drop off lighting products for recycling.
The LightRecycle program includes a growing network of over 40 collection sites for large-volume generators that will accept less than a pallet of lights without charge. Large-volume generators can also consolidate a pallet or more of whole lights or drums of crushed lights, in accordance with the program’s packaging requirements, to qualify for a free pick-up service.
“The LightRecycle expansion makes it easier for consumers and large volume generators to recycle their lighting products,” said Mark Kurschner, President of Product Care Association. “This program will reduce pressure on our landfills, conserve our natural resources and protect the environment.”
The expanded LightRecycle program ensures recyclable materials such as metal, glass and plastic in lighting products are recycled into new products. Some lighting products contain hazardous materials like mercury. LightRecycle helps keep these harmful materials out of the environment by safely recycling these products at approved facilities.
Like most other recycling programs in British Columbia, LightRecycle is funded by recycling fees applied to the sale of new products in BC. The recycling fees are used to cover program costs, including managing the collection, transportation and recycling system for returned products. As of October 1, 2012, fees apply to the sale or supply of all lights, ballasts and fixtures including retail, industrial, commercial and institutional sales. Manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers may include the recycling fee in the product price or display it as a separate charge to purchasers.
“There is a growing recognition of the need and importance of product stewardship programs like LightRecycle,” said Shafiq Jamal, Western Canada Vice President of the Retail Council of Canada. “We will continue to work with our members, government and Product Care Association to ensure this program is a success.”
LightRecycle was developed in response to the requirements of the BC Recycling Regulation. The LightRecycle program is operated by Product Care Association, a nonprofit industry association.