The CoBRA scheme (initially: Community Battery Recycling Alliance) was initiated by Mark David Hatwood in 2007. Mark approached his County Council and asked for permission to collect batteries on behalf of his community. At the time this wasn’t possible, but after six week’s negotiation, Mark was eventually given dispensation by both the Environment Agency and the County to run a trial scheme in his village – the first of its kind anywhere in the UK.
Over the following months, as word of what he had achieved reached the press, the scheme grew as Mark helped other concerned volunteers set up similar Community Locations in their own communities. He then created a website to help others find their local collection points, to inform the public about the importance of battery collection, and attract new volunteers to the scheme.
Within 12 months over 58 Community Locations were created throughout Cornwall and Isles of Scilly collecting in excess of 35 tonnes of batteries in just two years. The CoBRA Scheme went on to win four national awards in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and now the scheme is available to all counties throughout the UK.
In 2010, Mark met with Chief Executive of Recolight, Nigel Harvey, and, through their collective concern for the environment, made an agreement to utilise the successful CoBRA model to create a network of energy saving light bulb Community Locations throughout the UK... and CoBRA "Light" was borne!
Used energy saving light bulbs are classed as “Hazardous Waste” as they contain Mercury. Mercury should not go into landfill, due to the contamination it would cause. As such, when bulbs are recycled, the Mercury element can be safely removed, allowing for correct disposal, or reuse.
Used energy saving light bulbs also contain material (rare earth phosphors) that can be removed within the recycling process and used again. These phosphors, are only found in a few places on Earth and cannot be replaced by a man-made substitute.
Sign-up and become a CoBRA volunteer for your area. It is through pioneers like yourself that we can help save the environment, change the way people think about recycling and educate them as to the benefits whilst reducing the need for Council-led schemes which cost you, the rate payer’s, tax.