New program to recycle all lighting products

Beginning Oct. 1, LightRecycle will accept all residential and industrial lighting products for recycling.

All of those discarded light bulbs and light fixtures tucked away in your garage or basement will soon have a place to go.

On Oct. 1, British Columbia will introduce the country’s first program to recycle all lighting products, including bulbs, fixtures and other residential, institutional, commercial and industrial lighting products.

The expanded program, called LightRecycle, also includes table lamps, flashlights, floor lights and more.

The first phase of LightRecycle was launched in July 2010 and included only residential fluorescent tubes and bulbs. In 2011, almost 400,000 fluorescent lights were collected across the province from consumers and recycled.

Metal, glass and plastic from the discarded bulbs, ballasts and fixtures will be recycled into new products.

“Before the program existed for a limited subset of products but now it has expanded to include all lighting products,” said Jordan Best, program spokesman. “But, though all lighting products are included through one program, the collection systems differs based on the type of product and how much there is.”

There is no fee to drop off lighting products for recycling, but beginning Oct. 1 recycling fees will be applied to the sale of new lighting products at retail outlets.

In Nanaimo, discarded residential-use lights, including fluorescent, incandescent and CFLs, can be dropped off for recycling at Rona, both locations of London Drugs, Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, Applecross Home Hardware and Canadian Tire.

Light fixtures and products can be recycled at Nanaimo Bottle Depot at 1805 Fremont Rd. or Nanaimo Recycling Exchange. Fixtures include flashlights, Christmas strings and outdoor fixtures.

Lighting ballasts and transformers, including ballasts containing PCBs, will also be accepted.

Across the province, there are more than 200 collection sites for bulbs and 80 sites for fixtures.

Best said LightRecycle, a non-profit program, was developed in response to the requirements of the B.C. Recycling Regulation.

“There are timelines in the provincial regulations for recyclables to be captured and now is the time for lighting,” said Best.

The program also includes a separate collection system for large volumes generators, such as contractors, businesses, relampers, schools, hospitals and building managers. There are, however, packaging requirements necessary to qualify for a free pick-up service. Those locations will be revealed on Oct. 1.

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