Home generalDispose of old energy-saving lamps - that's the way it works!

Dispose of old energy-saving lamps - that's the way it works!

  • The facts about the economical bulbs
  • Why must energy-saving lamps be disposed of?>> Who coordinates the disposal, where to find collection point?
  • What will happen and how is it with the mercury?

If energy-saving lamps are disposed of properly, valuable components can be recycled from the components. Proper disposal saves valuable resources and is not difficult to accomplish in Germany.

In Germany, there is a nationwide network of collection points for the disposal of old energy-saving lamps, and the nearest collection point is easy to find. You'll learn how to properly dispose of energy-saving bulbs (and other bulbs), and that mercury is a problem - but not in energy-saving bulbs:

The facts about the economical bulbs

Light can be generated in different ways:

  • Chemistry, physics,
    • old oil lamps
    • kerosene lamps
    • gas lights
    • carbide lamps
    • Beacon and pyrotechnics
  • at atomic level
    • Light-storing or radioactively light-generating luminous colors,
    • chemically excited cold light (glow stick, glow stick)
  • electrical
    • Light bulb and gas discharge lamp
    • B. as "low-pressure gas discharge lamp in the form of a compact fluorescent lamp" (this is our energy-saving lamp)
    • increasingly as a light emitting diode (LED, English light-emitting diode = light-emitting diode).

Since the EU Framework Directive "Energy-using Products Directive" (Ecodesign Directive, 2009/125 / EC) set minimum requirements for the energy efficiency and quality of various household bulbs, and the Framework Directive for Germany by Regulations (EC) No. 244/2009, 245/2009 and the Energy Consumption-Relevant Products Act (EVPG) of 27 February 2008 was legally implemented in household energy-saving lamps are used. So bulbs that meet the requirements of the EU Framework Directive and their concrete implementation with us, the end of the raison d'être of the normal light bulb was predetermined.

Energy use in comparison

On 1 September 2012 it was that the last light bulbs from the shelves disappeared. Do you still remember the outcry, the buying of the hamsters ">

= 5% light energy, 95% heat energy.

Energy-saving lamps light up because gas is discharging

= 25% light energy, 75% heat energy.

Meanwhile, LED bulbs are ready for the market and are getting better, the energy-saving lamps may "lie down again" or be replaced gradually, by 2020, with a market share of about 70% LEDs expected.

A direct comparison of the most important bulbs makes it clear why:

The average lightbulb

  • consumes 40 - 60 watts,
  • brings a light output of about 12 lumens per watt,
  • has energy efficiency class D - G,
  • low production costs,
  • but also a low life.

The average energy saving lamp

  • consumes 5 - 15 watts,
  • brings a light output of 40 - 65 lumens per watt,
  • has energy efficiency class A - B,
  • high production costs,
  • but also a long life
  • Saves up to 80% energy compared to a light bulb.

The average LED

  • consumes 3 - 20 watts,
  • brings a luminous efficacy of 80 - 150 lumens per watt,
  • has energy efficiency class A,
  • high production costs,
  • but a very long life -
  • has a savings potential of up to 90% energy compared to a light bulb

Why must energy-saving lamps be disposed of ">

An eternally controversial topic, transparency rather excluded, because too many of the participants do not want to be overlooked (by the way, a strong case for the nationalization of the whole thing, the state can still be forced in case of doubt, best to grant visibility).

Energy-saving lamp must be disposed of

Surely a reason to find out what ends up where (and of companies whose garbage poisoned little working children to buy anything), but equally certainly not a topic that can be briefly dealt with by the way in an article. More information, not only about recycling, there are z. Eg at germanwatch.org .

Important: Dispose of your energy-saving light bulbs correctly and in an environmentally friendly manner, if you gradually replace them with LEDs in the future.

The energy-saving lamp has a long way to go before conventional light bulbs: light bulbs light up around 1, 000 hours, energy-saving lamps in the worst case just under 7, 000 hours, while others have to be disconnected after 19, 000 hours due to time constraints (www.test.de/Energiesparlampen-Osram- radiate-the-brightest-1327630-0 /).

If your energy-saving lamp has given up after 3 or 9 years, it has lasted so long that its disposal is subject to a very new law, the "Law on the Marketing, Return and Environmentally Sound Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment". (Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act, ElektroG ) from 20.10.2015.

Separate disposal already provided for the old ElektroG of 2005, the manufacturer committed since 2006 to take back and disposal of their old products.

The reason for this separate disposal of LEDs and gas discharge lamps (and other electrical appliances) is that these products contain electronic components and a little mercury . Often other valuable components such as glass and metal, in the electronic components also rare raw materials, the recycling therefore protects the environment and protects important resources.

What's new about the new ElektroG 2 with regard to household bulbs is that lamps with LED and gas discharge lamp technology (energy-saving bulbs) are now collected in the same collection group 4, so proper disposal has become a bit less complicated.

Tip: Private households can now hand in their disused electrical appliances free of charge to electrical and electronic equipment dealers with a sales area of ​​more than 400 square meters. Small appliances (edge ​​length less than 25 cm) independent of a new purchase, larger appliances, if a similar new appliance is purchased.

Who coordinates the disposal, where to find collection point ">
Collection points in Germany

The manufacturer take-back system for waste lamps differs significantly from the return of other old electrical appliances. The reason is that the disposal costs of waste lamps are very high when they are compared to the cost of production. This in turn is due to the large transport volumes of waste lamps, with a very low product weight.

That's why the lamp manufacturers in Germany have set up a joint take-back system that enables joint transports and thereby conserves resources. The nationwide take-back is organized in five logistics areas, where the commissioned logistics companies provide and pick up the collection containers and transport the waste lamps to the recycling plants commissioned by the utilization consortia.

There are currently more than 9, 000 small-scale collection points in Germany, a nationwide network of collection points for end consumers, which is growing steadily.

In addition to the municipal recycling or recycling centers and the traders and craft businesses, which receive from the consumer waste lamps in normal household quantities, there are also so-called "pollutant mobile", which make in the communities at regular intervals station.

If you do not know yet: The nearest collection point to your household can be found on Lightcycle's website (there is a search box where you can enter your zip code or place of residence). If and when a pollutant mobile occurs, you will learn in your town hall / Bürgeramt.

Using this take-back system from the lamp manufacturer, you can dispose of the following bulbs in accordance with ElektroG Appendix 1 No. 5:

  • lighting
  • to shine
  • rod-shaped fluorescent lamps
  • Compact fluorescent lamps (energy-saving lamps)
  • Discharge lamps, including high-pressure sodium lamps and metal halide lamps
  • Low pressure sodium lamps
  • Led Lamps
  • other lighting fixtures or devices for the propagation or control of light
  • with the exception of incandescent lamps

What will it look like and how is it with the mercury "> TNS Emnid, the Germans estimate the reusable proportion of lamps on average at 33 percent 6 percent did not know anything about bulbs recycling, a quarter dared no judgment, about half goes from a recycling rate of up to 40 percent, and the correct value of more than 90 percent was known to just 1 percent of respondents.

After all, 76 percent of Germans knew how to dispose of their disused LED and energy saving lamps professionally and carried out such a professional disposal. And if the Lightcycle Retourlogistik and Service GmbH would rely even more on information instead of warnings, it will surely soon be 100 percent.

Yes, energy-saving lamps contain some mercury, usually very small amounts of mercury, because since 1.1.2013 a limit of 2.5 milligrams per lamp applies. Also a reason for separate collection and disposal, because this mercury can be recovered in recycling.

Mercury, the "living silver", from the Old High German "quëcsilabar", is basically as deadly as it is alive (same root word). It carries the hazardous substances label toxic to very toxic and dangerous to the environment, as of April 2009, the EU has banned to bring new mercury-containing clinical thermometers, barometers and sphygmomanometers in the market.

But the ban does not apply to medicine and science and old and used equipment may continue to be traded.

Breathe in mercury vapor is faster but not from the broken lamp - since the records began, there have been 10 acute lethal mercury poisoning worldwide and these people fell into mercury-containing tanks or similar. The Stiftung Warentest has investigated it (www.test.de/Quecksilber-in-Energiesparlampen-Keine-Panik-4179935-0/): Even if you zerdeppern several energy-saving lamps a year, the limit for the load on indoor air would only for a few Hours per year are exceeded if you do not ventilate (and the amount of leaking vapors is also too low to cause chronic symptoms of intoxication).

How to Dispose of Broken Energy Saving Lamps:

  • do not use the vacuum cleaner
  • Bring broken pieces together with a kinked paper or cardboard to dispose of
  • Take up the powder with an adhesive tape
  • pack all fragments in a jar, close this
  • Wipe with a damp cloth, rinse thoroughly under running water
  • Ventilate the room well
  • Take the preservation glass to the collection point and dispose of it

To conclude: Energy-saving lamps do not emit mercury into the room air during operation.

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