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New legislation, client and shareholder pressure and the cost of waste disposal is forcing companies to examine the disposal routes of their waste.

The EU and UK Governments are introducing measures to substantially reduce landfill levels. Mercury Recycling would like to highlight the current and future positions with regard to new legislation and how this will affect your organisation in respect of waste disposal either by you or your subcontractors.

How legislation will affect your organisation.

New legislation means that certain wastes are now categorised as 'Hazardous'  (see European Waste Catalogue) and as such can only go to a suitably licensed recycling facility, or to a landfill site authorised to take the relating category of Hazardous Waste. End of life lamps and tubes and crushed lamp debris, containing mercury or sodium, are examples of such wastes.

In July 2004, new regulations stemming from the Landfill Directive , meant that the number of landfill sites permitted to take Hazardous Waste fell from 240 to approximately 10-15 with only 1 or 2 of these able to accept mercury bearing waste. This reduction resulted in a dramatic increase in the cost of disposing of Hazardous Waste resulting from additional transport and landfill costs.

In addition to the above the introduction of the Hazardous Waste Regulations in England and Wales in July 2005 introduced further major changes for companies producing Hazardous Waste.

The major changes that the regulations introduce are:-

  • End of pre-notification requirement - previously 72 hours notice to the Environment Agency was required before special waste as it was known as could be moved. (NB requirement remains in Scotland and Northern Ireland)
  • Hazardous waste producers must give notification (effectively a registration) to the Environment Agency. There are exemptions from the requirement to notify if certain business types produce less than 200kg each year. This does not exempt these premises from other requirements of the regulations.
  • Hazardous waste must be consigned when it leaves the producers premises. A consignment note must accompany the waste detailing the producer?s details (including a unique code provided on notification) along with details of the wastes.
  • The receiving site (consignee) will make quarterly returns to the Environment Agency detailing the types, quantities and origin of wastes received during that quarter. 
  • Consignee to keep records of where on site wastes are deposited or stored
  • Ban on mixing - the regulations establish a responsibility on the holder of hazardous waste (the producer of the waste or the person who is in possession of it) not to mix hazardous waste (with either another category of hazardous waste or with non-hazardous waste) unless part of a production or a licensed process.
  • Requirement to separate - a duty is also placed on the holder to separate mixed waste where technically and economically feasible (further guidance on technically and economically feasible is expected).

This year should see the implementation of the WEEE Directive which will make it a legal requirement to recycle lamps and tubes as well as a host of other electrical and electronic equipment.


It has never been more commercially viable to recycle your used lamps and tubes and at the same time improve your organisation's environmental performance and accreditation. The Mercury Recycling Group offer a comprehensive UK wide service to meet your Lamp Recycling requirements that will prove to be more cost effective than the landfill route.

Why choose Mercury Recycling Group?

With state of the art lamp recycling equipment, together with full environmental accreditation, we offer a complete solution for your Lamp Recycling needs. Specialised packages are tailored to clients needs with substantial discounts available for larger volumes . Note, companies that operate crushing machines on site, will as a result of the introduction of this plethora of legislation encounter major disposal problems for the lamp debris. The Mercury Group however, utilise technology which recovers the glass, metals and mercury for re-use by lamp manufactures and other industries.


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