World’s ‘first’ flat panel display recycling plant unveiled

Electrical Waste Recycling Group has announced that it has received approval from the Environment Agency to launch what it claims is the world's first recycling plant to mechanically process LCD flat panel displays.

These displays, which are from flat screen TVs and monitors, contain mercury and become hazardous waste when they enter the waste stream.

Electrical Waste Recycling Group (EWRG) gained this approval at their 100,000 square foot, five acre site in Huddersfield.

The UK sees one million used flat panel displays entering the recycling market per month.

According to the EWRG, flat panel display recycling, when carried out manually, takes 15 minutes per display, however, the new process operates at a rate of one every six seconds making it faster and safer than any other process in the world.

Earlier this week, the company said it gained full EA approval, with huge interest shown by other recyclers, flat panel display manufacturers and waste management companies. The group said that the UK needed this plant because of the “mounting volumes of flat panel displays being stockpiled in warehouses awaiting a commercial solution”.

The plant’s WEEE operation has been used over the past two years by Defra and the Environment Agency for training and has gained Best Available Treatment Recycling and Recovery Technique (BATRRT) approval as well as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 accreditations.

Group managing director Keith Patterson told edie that the plant “was unique” and although some processors were processing flat panel displays most were doing it manually and could not take in a range of sizes.

He added: “We have carried out substantial trials and considering the huge performance advantages this new and unique process offers to the market we are confident that the volume our partners will deliver will warrant the significant investment.
“With one million units of waste flat panel display equipment entering the market per month it was an obvious route for the company.”

The group added: “A patent is pending for the invention and they are already in talks with key industry players to relieve the waste backlogs that have followed quickly after the mass public switched some years ago from old style (cathode ray tube) televisions to the more modern flat panels displays, the digital switchover took place in the UK and flat panel display technology advances are becoming ever more rapid.”

Liz Gyekye

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