Thursday, 16 January 2014

UK Company Builds First Plant For Mechanical Recycling Of LCD Displays

In December, Electrical Waste Recycling Group Ltd. (EWRG) said that it had obtained the approval of the Environment Agency to build the first recycling plant in the world that will process flat screen displays mechanically. The 100,000 square foot facility will be located in Huddersfield, Recycling Today reported.

Mechanical processing will significantly reduce the time needed for the reassembling of a flat screen; currently, manual disassembling takes around 15 minutes per display, while the mechanical process will bring this down to six seconds. This, according to Electrical Waste Recycling Group, is quicker and safer than other processes.

Commenting on the news, the company's managing director, Keith Patterson, said that extensive trials were conducted to ascertain the advantages of the new processing technology, and expressed hopes that the amount of screens to be processed at the plant will justify the investment. This is very likely, taken that the number of LCD screens thrown away every month stands at around one million. EWRG is currently awaiting a patent, and there are plans to replicate the recycling process at other locations in the country as well.

Flat TV screens and computer monitors contain mercury, a hazardous material, in the fluorescent lights. If the monitors are disposed of in landfills, it could leak into the soil and underground water. Industry experts advise that electronic equipment companies should start making more durable products with fewer toxic components. Unfortunately, for the time being, things are going in the opposite direction, which calls for the design of new recycling technologies.

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