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Collapsed CRT firm put up for sale

A TV glass recycling firm that closed in January saying it could not afford changes required by the Environment Agency is being advertised for sale after investment talks collapsed.

CRT Recycling (CRTR) in Flintshire, which recycles cathode ray tube glass, stopped operating following meetings with the agency over new guidance on the storage of CRTs to prevent the release of ‘hazardous coatings’ and lead and glass dust.

CRTR said at the time it would have to pay several hundred thousand pounds for new buildings or finance an extension to its site in order to comply with the rules.

The company held talks with other glass recyclers but appears to have been unsuccessful in attempts to secure the investment needed.

Baker Tilly is set to be appointed administrator and is advertising a “business and asset sale”.  

A Baker Tilly spokeswoman said: “At its core CRTR appears to have a viable business model and it had developed a market leading position within the industry.”

Justin Greenaway, commercial director at rival firm Sweeep, said he had held talks with a view to investing in CRTR, but believed the company was unsustainable.

He said: “We certainly talked to them, but there’s not enough there to be of interest to us.”  

Greenaway said there was a limited market for the glass CRTR recycled.

“That glass traditionally went from CRTR back into making new cathode ray tube equipment. But, clearly, there isn’t much of a demand for cathode ray tubes anymore.”

Sweeep has invested £1.6m on a furnace to melt the lead out of the glass, Greenaway said.

He added that Sweeep had invested in property to expand its storage capacity in the wake of the collapse of CRTR - which had a 30% share of the market.

“CRTR clearly wasn’t a sustainable business. You have to be able to upgrade as legislation moves along, and pay back costs as part of an ongoing business.”

Environment Agency Wales insisted in January that it had made it clear to CRTR that it had time to comply with rule changes. “We do not understand why the company would decide to stop its operation because of this,” said an EA statement.

Carl Krüger, managing director of CRTR, said this week: “The company is going into administration. Baker Tilly will be appointed as the administrators and they are looking to see if they can find anyone to take it on.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • This is a business with a limited life cycle, running a best practice technology with the EA imposing additional costs to correct a problem that doesn't exist. It doesn't matter that the business has time to comply since the business has a short life cycle. This is another case of the EA riding rough shod over the issues facing business with no benefit to the environment. I am curious as to whether they have applied the same rules to CRTR's competitors.

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  • Rather refreshingly the EA actually sent the same key national staff to all major CRT recyclers. This helped standardise a consistent approach. We have spent a fortune on a dust extracted enclosed bunker and feel fairly happy that the EA are doing their best to have an even handed approach to our competitors.

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  • Standardised approaches are all well and good if it applies to all areas of a company's activities - some operators are accepting and processing CRTs without the correct planning permissions (or any!) as well as incorrect or incomplete permits

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  • The environment agency need help to police our industry correctly and I am sure would welcome information from you. I would also happily raise concerns you might have at AIWOLG or ICER.

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