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Environmental Impact of Aotea Electric

August 4th 2020


Recycling 1000’s of Fluorescent Tubes

At Aotea Electric Canterbury, we love the environment. We can often be found in the great outdoors of our beautiful country and we are concerned about the environment and how we impact it in our business and personal activities.

We looked at our business practices and and found that one of the most important things to change was the way we and our customers dispose of fluorescent tubes and HID lamps. These tubes contain mercury which leak from landfills eventually ending up in the ocean and then potentially into the fish on your dinner plates.

The recycling service that Aotea Electric Canterbury uses extracts all of the products from the tubes and puts them into other applications:

  • Aluminium recovered from the ends of the tubes is recycled and cast into ingots to manufacture other products
  • Glass is separated and turned into insulation for homes and buildings
  • Mercury is distilled and re-used in the making of dental amalgam
  • Phosphor powder is used in fertiliser products and sold to New Zealand and Australian agriculture industries

Every tube that Aotea Electric removes in Christchurch is recycled with the parts split in this way – amazing to think that the next time you open a can of coke, buy something grown in New Zealand, get a filling at the dentist or sit in your warm and insulated home these products might have come from us recycling fluorescent tubes.

Aotea Electric remove thousands of these fluorescent bulbs every year as part of our maintenance schedules in commercial buildings so the impact of this simple act is substantial. However, this is not the only thing that Aotea Electric is doing to improve the environment in Christchurch and New Zealand – we are constantly looking at ways to reduce our impact and keeping New Zealand beautiful. Find out more about our sustainable practices.