By Devin Jayasundera
Sri Lanka’s Leading Manufacturer of CFL Bulbs Orange Electric last week launched South Asia’s first ever CFL and fluorescent bulb recycling plant operating under the name Asia Recycling (Pvt) Ltd.
This revolutionary initiative is in collaboration with the Nordic Recycling AB of Sweden a pioneering figure in the world of Green Technology.
Even though CFL usage is encouraged by environmental authorities due to its higher energy efficiency, CFL bulbs contain minute amounts of mercury which is considered a hazardous substance. While the mercury content of a single CFL bulb may be insignificant, the combined effects of millions of them being improperly imposed worldwide would cause considerable damage to the environment.
Orange Electric has invested USD 500,000 to set up the new recycling plant in Homamgama South Pitipana Rideemulla.
This state of the art recycle plant has the capacity to recycle up to 30,000,000 bulbs per annum which is nearly three times greater than the annual usage in Sri Lanka.
The technically advanced recycling system in this plant separates the glass form the plastic base, before cleaning the glass of it mercury bearing powder of coating.
All parts of the lamp are treated chemically and mechanically to achieve a virtually total removal of mercury, within a completely sealed machine. In this process amount of mercury recovered exceeds a rate of 95%.
The recovered glass is used for production of new glass items and the e-waste is used for production of new glass items and the end craps are recovered as metal and its collected by the e-waste collectors appointed by the CEA.
The plastic are recycled for production of plastic items.
Orange Electric hopes to set up collection centres for any kind of used CFL, fluorescent bulbs at hardware stores or any other place where electric bulbs are being sold to the public.
Orange Electric Managing Director Kushan Kodituwakku indicated that they are looking forward to setting up recycle centres in the other parts of the region such as India, Malaysia. He also praised the Central Environment Authority (CEA) for its support and assistance given to make the project a success.
Nordic Recycling AB of Sweden Founder Per Kristoffersson addressing the media highlighted that mercury is an integral substance that has to be used in the electric bulb production because it is impossible to lit a lamp without it. “It can only harm if it’s not properly being disposed and through these recycle measures close to 100% mercury is recovered,” Kristoffersson said.
In regard to the benefits of recycling he pointed out an example saying that 10% of vodka bottles in Sweden are made by recycled CFL.
To increase public-private partnership in Green technology CEA Chairman Charitha Herath stated that these kind of projects are of National Value and these kind of projects are always encouraged and fully backed by the state. Herath said, “Waste Management should be introduced as a science to the society and the government designs its major economic programmes with the understanding of the importance of recycling and hopes to promote this concept through a series of programmes in 2012.”
He also noted that the Government has already allocated Rs. 5.6 billion for a period of three years specifically to waste management.
Daily FT speaking to Orange Electric Managing Director Kushan Kodituwakku asked how favourable has the 2012 budget been to industries, he responded by saying that the Cess for local manufacturers is not adequate to protect local industries and to encourage them.
Orange Electric achieved 30% YoY growth and it is still the market leader in the Electric bulb manufacturing business.