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Green light for Sri Lankan bulb recycling venture

Sri Lanka – Orange Electric, a Sri Lankan electrical and lighting products manufacturer and exporter, has invested US$ 500 000 in a joint venture to set up what it describes as South Asia’s first compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) recycling plant.

The facility, located in Sri Lanka and registered under the name of Asia Recycling, represents a partnership with Nordic Recycling AB of Sweden. It has a stated recycling capacity of up to 30 million bulbs per year, encompassing both CFLs as well as more conventional fluorescent tube lights.

Capacity is nearly three times greater than annual domestic CFL usage. Outlining future plans for Asia Recycling, which has its sole facility at Homagama South, Pitipana Rideemulla, Orange Electric’s Managing Director Kushan Kodituwakku has indicated that Sri Lanka is just the first step for a venture which hopes to build similar plants in India, Singapore, Malaysia and China. He has also revealed that, in three to four months from now, new recycling technology and machinery will be introduced, and that existing machines will be sent to India.

Mr Kodituwakku also points out that the country’s Central Environmental Agency is bringing in new legislation regarding the disposal of light bulbs, as well as associated tariffs in this regard. And when this legislation comes into effect, recyclers will also benefit from the added revenue stream, it is noted.

According to a statement, the recycling processes used translate into a recovery rate exceeding 95%. Nordic Recycling’s founder Per Kristoffersson explains that mercury is integral to electric bulb production. ‘It can only harm if it’s not properly being disposed, and through these recycling measures close to 100% mercury is recovered,’ he has commented.

Some 10% of vodka bottles in Sweden are made with recycled CFL, he adds.

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