Recycling of fluorescent lights


The innovative process of recycling of fluorecent lights developed by Saubermacher Dientsleistung AG was the prize  winner of the Environment and climate category of the State Prize 2012 Clean Technology Austria. The fluorescent lamps so far were sent to disposal but can now be recycled, enabling the recovery of valueable raw materials.

During the last years Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG has developed a totally new process for recycling fluorescent lamps.The biggest difficulty in the disposal and recycling of fluorescent lamps is the fact that the mercury, yttrium and other rare earth metals contained in tubes and light bulbs must be separated. In this respect  Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG has developed its own recycling process for processing all lights which do not contain liquid mercury. A special feature of this process is that it allows LCD flat screen displays to be recycled as well.

This recycling process allows to recover steel scrap, glass in varying particle sizes Aluminium and copper. Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG plant as a next step the recovery of rare earth metals from the flourescent powder.

Barriers and drivers

One important driver for the recycling of fluorecent lamps are the WEEE directive of the European Union (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) as well as the related Austrian legislation (Elektroaltgeräteverordnung, EAG-VO). The posibility to recover and to add value to materials that were disposed and now take a part of the life cycle of differentes products is also an inportant driver for recycling.

Economic performance

Added value for the domestic economy coming from the recovery of raw materials and significant contribution to the Austria´s position into the recycling markets.

Environmental impact

Recovery of raw materials.

Further information

Staatpreis 2012 Austria (

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