Stuart Caunt started an awareness campaign in the bere:architects office to stop us chucking our batteries into the bin and ultimately into landfill. After 6 months of putting our batteries into the jar on Stuart’s desk, we gathered quite a sizeable collection. The sight of this growing collection is a continual reminder to think about ways of avoiding using batteries. The next task will be to see how easy it is to get the batteries disposed of in an environmentally satisfactory way.

Fluorescent Light Bulb Disposal

It would be interesting to do the same for energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs which contain mercury and other harmful substances. Whilst in many US states and European countries there is a high level of awareness of the need for specialist disposal of old fluorescent light bulbs and in many cases laws forbid disposal with household waste, the UK government seems to have chosen once again to ignore this serious environmental issue.

I have found it difficult to find anywhere to safely dispose of fluorescent tubes. Wholesale Lighting and Electrical (part of the Ryness group) should be congratulated for accepting the tubes without question. Others such as Edmundson Electrical distributors will only accept a lamp if you buy a replacement, which is disgraceful. Most bulbs almost certainly get thrown out with the general rubbish and I would like to know how much of a health hazard it is for dustbin men to breath the air after their refuse lorry has crunched them, apart from the pollution all the way down the line to the refuse tip where mercury and other chemicals risk leaching into the ground.