United Kingdom – A group of cathode ray tube (CRT) glass recyclers has called on the UK Environment Agency (EA) to put a stop to exports to the Netherlands on the grounds that the shipment of ‘thousands of tonnes’ of CRTs to be recycled by Dutch player Jansen BV effectively ‘undermines’ the UK recycling sector.
Environcom and SWEEEP Kuusakoski, among others, claim that Jansen’s reprocessing techniques are not in line with existing UK recycling standards. As such, they argue, the export agreement should be discontinued to safeguard future investment in the UK’s CRT recycling industry.
‘The law regarding the recycling of hazardous leaded waste CRT glass in the UK is that it should be treated to best available treatment recovery and recycling techniques,’ explains Patrick Watts, managing director of SWEEEP Kuusakoski. ‘The companies that have invested millions to follow this law are now seriously compromised by the EA’s contradictory decision to allow export to Jansen.’
The Dutch recycler, Watts notes, encapsulates the leaded glass into concrete construction blocks, which are sold back to the UK market. A recent analysis has suggested that these blocks are ‘sub-standard’ with regard to British guidelines and also compete against ‘UK made quality items’, he asserts.
However, the Environment Agency insists that these claims are ‘inaccurate’ while Jansen has defended its product, called Legioblock. ‘We process CRT glass in accordance with Dutch legislation and Weeelabex,’ it says. ‘Also, the Legioblocks are manufactured in accordance with the guidelines of the European standard.’
Waste can be legitimately exported to be processed or reused, the Environment Agency has stated. It will not revoke its approval as it trusts the scrutiny of the Dutch authorities regarding what makes a proper recycling facility. The agency also stresses that the material in question is ‘not subject to UK waste regulations’ any longer because it has completed the transformation into a new product.