Gas-discharge lamps are mainly found in the following devices:
- Indoor lighting fixtures.
These primarily include classic rod-shaped fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent tubes, e.g. energy-saving bulbs.
- Kitchen equipment like exhaust hoods.
- Office equipment and computer peripherals like copiers, faxes and scanners.
- In tanning beds and sunlamps.
In connection with the eco-design directive, incandescent bulbs will be progressively banned over the next few years, and replaced in many cases by gas-discharge lamps (energy-saving bulbs). These energy-saving bulbs contain small quantities of mercury, and should therefore always be disposed of separately.
Recovering raw materials
Gas-discharge lamps consist primarily of glass, aluminium (end caps), and waste elements containing mercury.
The mercury-containing elements are stored in underground disposal sites. The glass and aluminium portions can be reused as valuable raw materials. In terms of energy consumption, this is far more efficient than acquiring new raw materials, and therefore makes an important contribution to protecting our climate and environment.
The following table presents the approximate proportion of different materials recovered in the processing of gas-discharge lamps:
|Gas-discharge lamp||Mass [t]||Proportion [%]|
Hazardous substance removal and disassembly
The process of removing hazardous materials for the gas-discharge lamp portion is described in the section on “Recycling processes – Glass portion”.