Energy retailer Synergy has launched a pilot recycling program to encourage more householders to use the energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL).
Energy Minister Francis Logan said the program would allow householders to safely dispose of used CFLs and enable the globes to be recycled into marketable by-products.
Mr Logan said recycling bins had been placed around the metropolitan area - at Balcatta, Maddington, Leederville, Wanneroo, Fremantle, Meadow Springs and at Synergy’s head office in Perth.
“While CFLs are more energy-efficient than incandescent light bulbs, they do contain a very small amount of mercury and it is important that they are recycled,” he said.
“The uptake of CFLs has been increasing as people realise the economic and environmental benefits of switching to these globes. That is why this recycling initiative is important.
“There is no doubt CFLs are far better for the environment than standard incandescent globes.”
The Minister said CFL globes used up to 80 per cent less power and lasted 8 to 10 times longer than incandescent globes.
If an average home switched eight globes to CFLs, they could save up to $84 each year.
“CFLs actually reduce the amount of mercury being released into the atmosphere, because they reduce electricity consumption and, therefore, electricity production,” Mr Logan said.
“Coal-fired power stations emit both greenhouse gas emissions and mercury, so the less electricity we generate means that fewer greenhouse gases and mercury are emitted.”
Mr Logan said CMA Recycling would recycle the mercury from the globes to be used by dentists, while the glass, aluminium and phosphor would also be recycled into marketable by-products.
Synergy managing director Jim Mitchell said householders could calculate the savings they could achieve from switching to CFLs by using Synergy’s ‘Better Globe Calculator’.
“The calculator can work out the potential savings available to householders by switching to CFLs,” Mr Mitchell said.
“The calculator indicates the cost of using incandescent lights - and the CO2 emissions - and compares the cost and emissions of the equivalent CFLs.
“When those benefits are realised, we are confident more householders will switch to CFLs and it is then important that householders have a recycling option available once the CFLs reach the end of their life.”
The ‘Better Globe Calculator’ is available at http://www.synergy.net.au
Mr Mitchell said Synergy had begun working with some councils to determine how recycling options could be made available, accessible and achievable.
Minister's office - 9222 8950