Recyclable by weight

Perth 11th January 2012

We come across some interesting issues as a lighting designer. Some are typical or practical design issues, some are more of an administrative/ business type of issues. I had a bit of both today. I will blog about a design issue first and will leave the other issue for tomorrow, if nothing else spectacularly comes my way 🙂

I have blogged about recycling before surely, but today I saw a new term: “90% recyclable by weight”. Another statement said 100% recyclable. Now in the general green train of thoughts recycling is obviously a part of the overall strategy, certainly for short life consumer products. But what does it mean for lighting or better lighting systems. The “perishable” goods, if I may call them that way, are the light sources in general. From 1000 hrs for the good old incandescent lamps to multiples of 10,000 hours for LED. So how would that be administered when we talk LED systems? I asked the question to the sales representative that visited me today as I was curious to understand how in lets say 10 years I could come back and claim some money back for recycling? Being 100% recyclable sounds like a great sales slogan (socially responsible) but how will that work? He could not really tell me but promised to check it out with the principal manufacturer that produces the “recyclable” fittings.

To me recyclable means that the fitting can be taken apart and (some of) the components can be re-used or remodelled/ reconfigured to new use. Does 90% mean that 90% is e-usable? That would be great! But this requires some engineered solutions in regards to the design of the light fitting. But most of all there should be a system in place to take collection of the fitting offered for recycling. The “by weight” implies a certain price per weight, sounds like a good start. But who administers this? I would assume the local agent. Will it work like any, say, lotto ticket? You buy from any acredited lotto store and you can cash in your “winnings” at any other licensed reseller store?

Then there is an aspect of time. You don’t renovate every year, so to speak there could be as much as 10 to 15 years from the installation time to the time of “recycling”. Will you need some certificate of authenticity to prove original purchase in order to validate the recycling? Interesting…see what response I will receive. I will let you know (if I get any!)

Light Watch 3-3: A collection of some interesting pictures all to do with light, colour, materials and perception….


11. January 2012 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: going green, light watch, lighting applications, lighting design | Leave a comment

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