The race begins to recycle flat panel TVs

The race begins to recycle flat panel TVs

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Dec. 13, 2013

As the industry continues to grapple with collecting and recycling lead-heavy CRT televisions, a facility in the U.K. has become the first of its kind to mechanically recycle the successor to the CRT, flat panel televisions.

The U.K.'s Environment Agency has given Electrical Waste Recycling Group (EWRG) the green light to begin accepting LCD flat panel display (FPD) televisions for recycling at the company's 100,000-square-foot Huddersfield facility. In a press release, the company states the recycling process, more than two years in the making, can handle up to 600 displays per hour – one every six seconds.

EWRG managing director Keith Patterson told E-Scrap News the facility is now up and running. "The system took two years of development and testing before we applied and received the first and only license on the U.K. for mechanical processing and we went live processing on [Dec. 9]," Patterson said. He added that the company has, so far, met its goal of handling 600 displays an hour.

The company receives the majority of its material, Patterson explained, from civic amenity household collection sites in the U.K., where consumers can drop-off their used electronics free of charge. While the company looks into reuse whenever possible, EWRG processes the majority of FPDs received, sending recovered materials to various partners. Some of those partners, Patterson added, are able to use the material in the production of new FPDs.

According to EWRG, 12 million units are currently entering the recycling market each year and manual recycling of PPDs takes 15 minutes per unit. The patent-pending automated process "is just what the U.K. needs," the company stated.

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