The solar-operated Luke Lights and Chandler Chargers we produce are sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel based lamps and energy sources, as well as single use batteries. However, they still have a limited useful life (2-5 years). At Unite to Light we believe in supporting circular product life cycles, and that means responsible disposal of our products and other e-waste at the end of their lives. While we do operate on a global scale and work internationally with on the ground partners to properly recycle our products, this article is intended for our U.S. consumers - we hope it helps!
Like many sustainability problems, laws and regulations surrounding e-waste vary from state to state. No general guidelines or nationwide facilities to recycle our Luke Lights and Chandler Chargers exist. You may see disclaimers on websites of companies like Staples and Best Buy saying they accept e-waste at their stores. The caveat is that large corporations are only bound by federal law stipulating manufacturers must be responsible for disposing of their own products. For context, this doesn’t mean Best Buy can only accept Best Buy made products, but it does mean that Best Buy can only accept the types of e-waste they sell. This includes computers, televisions, copy machines, certain batteries, and many other products. The lithium-ion batteries inside our Luke Light converting solar energy into electrical power are recyclable at these locations (see how to replace the battery here).
Unfortunately, the Luke Light itself as well as the Chandler Charger don’t fall under the corporate e-waste umbrella. Despite some obstacles, there are still facilities in many of our biggest markets that are able to recycle solar products. One of the best organizations we've found is Redwood Materials. Redwood Materials specializes in recycling lithium-ion batteries. Unlike Best Buy and Staples, Redwood Materials accepts all devices containing lithium-ion batteries, not just the batteries themselves. This helps devices with less accessible batteries (or those that can't be removed by a consumer) have a higher chance of being recycled.
Below, we will outline ways to dispose of e-waste in varying U.S. states and regions. While this is not an exhaustive list, we hope it will give you the tools you need to get started.
Recycling e-waste in California is tremendously easy. California has a statewide mandate that requires e-waste facilities to accept solar and photovoltaic panels. You can find a list of the closest e-waste facilities to your current location on the Calrecycle website. The government has an extensive list of facilities, so you should have no problem finding a responsible way to dispose of your Luke Lights and Chandler Chargers.
Texas has some options for recycling e-waste, but they are limited to the metropolitan areas dispersed throughout the state. In Austin, use this link to schedule an e-waste drop-off at the Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center. For residents in and around Dallas, reference this guide on how to recycle e-waste in Dallas, including the addresses and operating hours of four e-waste recycling points. STS Recycling in Jacksonville offers e-waste pickups. They are a “company dedicated to providing safe and efficient means for recycling electronic equipment” and ensure proper recycling of all equipment. Simply call them at (844)-699-2913 to schedule a pickup.
Change a Life. Light the World.
While there are some obstacles with the infrastructure currently surrounding solar technology recycling, we have designed our products to meet rigorous use requirements and we are optimistic that recycling will continue to expand as time passes. For now, we are doing our best to direct you toward promising recycling options while we keep lighting the world with clean solar technology.