Renovating outdoor lighting: collection and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

October 2021

Agence pour l’Environnement et la Maîtrise de l’Energie (ADEME)

The subject of many economic, political and environmental issues, outdoor lighting, and in particular its management in public spaces, now appears to be a competence in its own right. For the past fifteen years, the price of electricity has been rising steadily and, as a result, has put a strain on the budgets of local authorities, which represent 1 billion euros each year in France. With an ageing and energy-intensive lighting stock, the territories have been addressing the issue for several years in order to limit consumption and therefore energy expenditure. Some have implemented coherent and ambitious renovation programmes on their own or on an inter-municipal scale. Despite the 500 million euros of annual investments made by local authorities to renew and modernise their public lighting systems, consumption remains high and the efforts made must be increased. Public lighting is now at the heart of the expectations of citizens, who are increasingly concerned about the way in which the city is administered, but also increasingly involved in environmental protection. Public lighting is a source of light pollution that contributes to the fragmentation of natural habitats. Intelligent management of lighting is therefore essential. The technological tools for this management already exist.

In addition, new needs are emerging in our territories: video protection, wifi terminals, electric vehicle charging stations, etc. Lighting infrastructures are increasingly in demand and should eventually become one of the means of pooling equipment for these new needs.

This is why it is becoming urgent to accelerate the renovation of the network and to make it communicative with a view to the development and planning of future intelligent territories. Public lighting is one of the major players in the ecological transition and a lever for action to limit light pollution and energy consumption. This guide published by ADEME should enable readers to gain a better understanding of the public lighting stock, to better grasp the issues at stake and to become players in its transformation.

To download : ademe-eclairage-exterieur-2021.pdf (3.9 MiB)

The ecosystem eco-organisation is approved for the collection and processing of used lamps, luminaires used by households or professionals, and their control and management systems. It coordinates the processing (decontamination, recycling or recovery of the materials recovered) of used lamps and luminaires. Different collection systems are offered: delivery to a collection point or direct collection from the site, depending on the volumes involved and the frequency of the need. In accordance with the Environmental Code, the fact of handing over waste to an approved eco-organisation for treatment relieves the producers of the waste (in this case the project owner) of all responsibility for the fate of the waste.

A. Lamps

These are all discharge lamps and LED sources that carry the « crossed out dustbin » symbol and mainly: fluorescent tubes and LED tubes, compact fluorescent lamps, mercury vapour lamps, low or high pressure sodium lamps, metal halide lamps and LED lamps.

B. Household luminaires

As of 15 August 2018, this category refers to indoor, outdoor or emergency luminaires, including their control gear and power supplies, regardless of the distribution channel, which may be in the possession of households and therefore belong to the « household » category.

C. Professional luminaires

This category also includes indoor, outdoor and emergency luminaires, including their control gear and power supplies, intended for professional use and which, because of their design or use, are not intended for use by households.

D. Collection of lamps and luminaires

The project owner is legally responsible for the fate of waste generated by maintenance, renovation and demolition work carried out on its property. In this respect, they must ensure that the companies they hire deposit and package the equipment and materials they wish to dispose of in an appropriate manner, to allow them to be processed/recycled in conditions that comply with the Environmental Code. The project owner must ensure, from the referencing or call for tenders stage, that candidates for the supply of electrical equipment or its maintenance are able to meet the obligations to take charge of the WEEE resulting from their services.

E. Reference texts


To go further

  • Dépenses énergétiques des collectivités locales, ADEME, Caisse des Dépôts, FNCCR, AITF, CEP. 2019.

  • Guide de l’élu local et intercommunal. Éclairage public. FNCCR. 2021.

  • Publications de l’Association française de l’éclairage relatives à l’éclairage extérieur.

  • Trame noire - Méthodes d’élaboration et outils pour sa mise en œuvre, par Romain Sordello, Fabien Paquier et Aurélien Daloz. Publié par l’Office français de la biodiversité, mars 2021.

  • Annexe SSL : Solid State Lighting, Association internationale de l’énergie.

  • Les défis de l’éclairage public, par Roger Narboni, Concepto, et Fanny Guerard, responsable éclairage public, smart city et environnement, ville d’Asnières-sur-Seine. Territorial Éditions. 2021.