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England's 'first’ flat panel display processing centre installed by Recycling Lives

Recycling and waste management solutions provider Recycling Lives has become the first company in England to install a dedicated flat panel display (FPD) processing centre at its site in Preston.

Recycling Lives has installed the £250,000 FPD disassembly centre, following guidance from experts at the University of Central Lancashire.

The treatment of end of life FPDs is often seen as a difficult, lengthy process due to the complexity of the units and the hazardous mercury content in the backlights. But after comparing the procedure with cathode ray tube processing (CRT), Recycling Lives has found a way to transfer cost-effective measures in CRT processing to FPD processing.

Up to 1,000 FPD units are expected to be processed each day when the centre is running at full capacity.

Recycling Lives FPD strategic development manager David Allen said: “Our ground-breaking FPD recycling facility is the result of years of study in conjunction with the University of Central Lancashire into the issues and complexities of FPD recycling.

“It is very important to us that we have a line which is a flagship FPD facility which sets the trend for how to correctly handle these units. We are now keen to engage with as many stakeholders as possible to ensure we can operate the line to as near to its capacity as possible.”

The dismantling process has been split into different stages in order to increase the efficiency of unit handling. Plastic and metal components are removed from the units first, then the remaining screen and fluorescent tubes are sent to a mercury-safe room for treatment.

Recycling Lives added that companies have “shied away” from FPD processing in the past because of the health and safety risks linked to mercury recycling. It has made significant investment in health and safety testing, mercury analysing equipment, and a specially designed mercury-safe dismantling room, which replaces the air in the room once every 60  seconds to ensure staff are protected.

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