Sweden – The Stena Metall Group is launching a closed process for handling LCD screens which will mean major safety gains, according to Staffan Johansson, Managing Director of group subsidiary GRIAG Glasrecycling.
The company has invested substantial sums, he explains, in developing an automated process for the recycling of the rapidly-growing mountain of discarded flat screens. ‘The degree of recycling is significantly higher than the requirements that will be set in the future with a tougher WEEE Directive – which states how much of Europe’s electronic waste must be recycled,’ he adds.
In the process, clean fractions of metals, plastics, circuit boards and glass with liquid crystal are separated. The closed element to the process is important given that mercury lamps form part of an LCD screen. Snorre Kolseth, Manager of the group’s R & D Department covering waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), comments ‘It is easy for mercury lamps to break during manual handling; this gives rise to health risks for those carrying out the dismantling. With our sealed and automated process, this risk can be avoided.’
Moreover, traditional dismantling requires large amounts of space and is time-consuming. ‘Today’s recycling of electronics is very much about finding new ways to recycle large quantities of electronic waste quickly, complying with the legislation and with clear environmental and health benefits,’ says Mr Johansson. ‘Our new process for LCD recycling is a good example of this.’
In 2008, over 100 million flat screens were sold in Europe. By the year 2015, it is estimated that the EU’s flat screen recycling needs will amount to 750 000 tonnes per annum.
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