Ask Phoebe
Phoebe Falconer answers your questions about Auckland

Ask Phoebe: B means go for all bus lane users

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Photo / Dean Purcell
Photo / Dean Purcell

I sometimes ride my scooter to work. I do use the bus lane when available. My question is, when first in line at a traffic light and the "B" on the light comes on, can I proceed?

Debby Lewis, Auckland.

My initial reaction was, no. B stands for bus. Scooter begins with S. However, a little research provided the information that if you are legally entitled to ride your scooter in a bus lane, as you can do in many parts of the city, then you are legally entitled to take advantage of any traffic signals that pertain to those lanes, including B.

And here's the proof:

Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004, 3.6 Traffic signals in form of T or B: (5) "If the rider of a cycle, moped, or motorcycle is lawfully using a bus lane, this clause applies to the rider in the same way that it applies to the driver of a bus."

• With reference to Tuesday's piece on disposal of batteries and light bulbs, and while the Ask Phoebe column is not a platform for individual companies to advertise their services, I thought the following was worth including. (Thanks to Bruce Graham for pointing me in this direction.).

InterWaste is the only company in New Zealand offering a zero-to-landfill 100 per cent recycling service for all forms of mercury lamps.

The disposal of mercury in New Zealand is tightly regulated.

Mercury-containing lamps are considered a hazardous waste when the concentration of mercury exceeds 0.2mg/l. Most lamps (weighing between 200-300g) contain 0.3-20mg of mercury. Therefore, New Zealand regulation ensures that lamps sent to landfill are minimised.

In order to recycle the tubes they are first crushed, the elements are separated, and mercury is recovered.

All products are then distilled and recycled into by-products.

Marketable by-products include:

• Aluminium from tube ends is recycled into cast products such as ingot used for foundry application.

• Glass from lamps are separated and recycled into the glass wool used to insulate homes.

• Mercury is distilled from separated powders and then reused in the manufacture of dental amalgam.

• Phosphor powder from the tubes is used for the manufacture of fertiliser products and sold to New Zealand and Australian agriculture industries.

For more information on how to get your lamps and batteries to InterWaste, visit

I am also advised that used household batteries and light bulbs can be dropped off free of charge at Computer Recycling Ltd, 3 Southdown Lane, Penrose.

In fact they recycle all e-waste except cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs.

However, the Abilities Group ( will take CRT TVs, computer monitors and so on at their Hillside Rd, Glenfield centre, for a charge.

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