A Kent electrical recycler has officially opened what it says is the world’s first commercial furnace for recovering lead and glass from old TV cathode ray tubes.
SWEEEP Kuusakoski invested £2m in the new facility which can recover a kilo of lead from each of the 4,000 CRTs it processes a day. The furnace heats the leaded glass to over 1,000 degrees centigrade and recycles 10 tonnes of 20% lead content glass per day, giving 8 tonnes of de-leaded glass and 2 tonnes of pure lead. The furnace is powered by 100% renewable energy with a percentage coming from SWEEEP’s photovoltaic solar panel array.
Justin Greenaway, contracts manager at SWEEEP Kuusakoski, said: “Waste TV glass is a global issue and the UK recycling industry is at the forefront of providing the solution. The drive for greater resource security is an opportunity for sustainable economic growth and it is pleasing to be part of this.
“Through the work with our technical partner Nulife Glass, we have successfully commercialised a UK developed technology and can now recover large quantities of lead that would otherwise have harmed the environment.”
Speaking at the opening, business minister Michael Fallon MP said: “SWEEEP Kuusakoski’s new furnace will help tackle the growing global recycling problem of how to recycle old televisions and computer screens.
“Their continued success, employing nearly 170 people, is great news for Kent. The green economy is at the heart of our economic recovery and the UK recycling industry has a very important role to play.”