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Surge in TV recycling during digital switchover

Digital switchover has seen a sharp rise in the number of old TVs being sent for recycling, according to recycler Yorwaste.

The Yorwaste facility in Hessay, on the edge of York, used to process around 3,000 TVs and computers every week. But this has now been boosted to up to 9,000 during busy weeks - mainly from the Yorkshire area but also from further afield such as London and Scotland.

During the summer Yorwaste re-furbished and re-organised its facilities and said that these changes means that it can now recycle up to 98% of all TVs, monitors and other electrical equipment.

Items that arrive are put on a conveyor belt and staff each have a specific part to dismantle. The metal, plastic and glass recovered is sent for recycling.

Yorwaste recycling manager Paul Sellers, above, said: “The digital switchover has had a major impact on our electrical recycling business and at times we are dealing with 1,400 sets a day.

“To prepare for the increase of sets coming from household waste sites and commercial customers, we totally overhauled the way we handle with the electrical items and with efficient and highly trained staff; this has had major positive dividends on our operations.”

Yorwaste also reported a rise in flat screen TVs such as LCD and plasma sets as these develop faults more quickly than CRT screens. It believes consumers are quickly replacing them with new models rather than getting them fixed.

LCDs and plasma screens have to have the mercury extracted from the glass before this part can be reprocessed.

Sellers added: “It’s interesting to see so many flat-screens now coming into Hessay and they are nearly always sets that have developed faults and which the owners have chosen not to have repaired.”

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