Bulb & Tube Recycling

The Facts

  • It is estimated that some 80 million fluorescent tubes and highway lamps are used annually in the UK.
  • This equates to approx 3,100 tonnes of material disposed to landfill, including 4 tonnes of mercury.
  • Mercury is used in a wide variety of products including fluorescent tubes, sodium and mercury lamps, button cell batteries, dental amalgam, thermometers, pharmaceutical and agrochemical formulations, all resulting in mercury waste.
  • The mercury from one fluorescent tube can pollute 30,000 litres of water beyond a safe level for drinking.
  • The recycling equipment separate the tubes component parts and distil the mercurial powder to produce 99.98% pure mercury.
  • The separated components – namely glass, metals and mercury – are all reused in other industries.
  • The process is authorised by the Environment Agency with the first Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licence of its type in the country.
  • Recycling your fluorescent tubes means you can meet Duty of Care responsibility under the Environment Protection Act 1990.

Continue reading Bulb & Tube Recycling

Battery Recycling

The Facts

  • Each year we throw away over 600 million household batteries.
  • The energy needed to make batteries is 50 times greater than the energy they give out.
  • On average each UK household will spend over £100 a year on batteries.
  • The battery market in the UK is worth £250 million per annum.
  • The single largest source of mercury in household rubbish is batteries, especially alkaline and button cell batteries.
  • Most batteries contain metals that are potentially toxic such as mercury, cadmium and nickel.
  • Manufacturers of alkaline batteries are already committed to eliminate mercury from their batteries; however with button batteries the mercury is an integral part and cannot be eliminated.
  • Over 30,000 tonnes of batteries are sold per annum containing nearly 5,500 tonnes of re-usable zinc.

Continue reading Battery Recycling

Plastic Recycling

The Facts

  • Nearly 100 million tonnes of plastic materials is used each year throughout the world. We produce and use 20 times as much as we did 50 years ago.
  • There are about 50 different types of plastic and hundreds of varieties within those types.
  • Plastics should be marked to help people identify the six or seven mains types.
  • Currently 80% of post consumer plastic waste goes to landfill.
  • Plastic production uses 8% of the world’s oil production.
  • In the UK we use about 6.7 million tonnes per annum
  • Packaging is the largest single user of plastics accounting for over 30% of the UK consumption and it makes up some 8% of the average household’s waste. Supermarkets give away in the region of 100 million plastic carrier bags each week, hence their current promotion of re-usable bags.
  • The next heaviest user of plastics is the construction industry with just under 30% consumption. Rabbitt Recycling is working with the industry to develop recycling methods to compensate to some degree for this level of usage.
  • One tonne of plastic is the equivalent of 20,000 two litre drinks bottles or 120,000 carrier bags. The lightness of the material is one of the biggest issues in trying to economically recycle it hence the need to bale plastic to make better volume and weight.

Continue reading Plastic Recycling