World First Recycling Facility to Process 600 Flat Panels TVs Every Hour in UK

A recycling plant claimed to be the first in the world to mechanically process LCD Flat Panel Displays (FPD) has received full UK approval from the Environment Agency.

A recycling plant claimed to be the first in the world to mechanically process LCD Flat Panel Displays (FPD) has received full UK approval from the Environment Agency.

According to Huddersfield, UK based e-waste recycler, Electrical Waste Recycling Group (EWRG), it has spent two years developing and testing the equipment which is now fully operational allowing for automated in-house mechanical FPD processing at a rate of one every six seconds.

The company explained that most operators used to manually dismantle CRT’s at speeds of up to one every minute but FPD’s provide a greater degree of difficulty and even the most proficient operators have failed to achieve anything quicker than 4 units per hour in a fully compliant process and often less dependent on size of the monitor.

Under its FPD Recycle Division, EWRG said that it has now been granted full license and approval for processing FPDs in its automated mechanical system at speeds of 600 per hour using its Best Available Treatment. Recovery and Recycling Techniques (BATRRT) compliant system.

According to the recycler, the system is also fully mercury abated, removing the risk faced in manually stripping the mercury bearing backlights from the panels.

The company added that the facility, which has a capacity to handle 20 tonnes of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) per hour, also features in-house mercury distillation, copper recycling, the largest lamp recycling facility in the UK and battery recycling capabilities.

Model facility

According to EWRG the plant’s WEEE operation has also been used over the past two years by Defra and the Environment Agency for training and has also gained ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 accreditations.

The company also said that it has received significant interest in its new FPD processing technology from other recyclers, flat panel display manufacturers and waste management companies.

With the UK seeing some 1 million used flat panel displays entering the recycling market every month, EWRG said that there are mounting volumes of flat panel displays being stockpiled in warehouses awaiting a commercial solution. 

The situation has also been fuelled by digital switchover which took place in the UK in October 2012, rendering older sets useless without a set-top box.

The company said that a patent is pending for the technology it is already in talks with key industry players to relieve the waste backlogs that have followed the public switch from old style cathode ray tube televisions to flat panels displays.

“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,” commented group managing director, Keith Patterson.

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