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Warning of enviro-risks if CRT firm can't be saved

A rival firm has warned of the consequences for the environment if a TV glass recycler is forced out of business.

Flintshire firm CRT Recycling last week said it was facing closure as it could not afford to comply with changes to Environment Agency licence requirements.

The company suspended operations earlier this month - athough it has since raised hopes for its future after opening talks with a “third party” aimed at finding the money required to make the changes.

Justin Greenaway, commercial director of Kent-based rival Sweeep, said that if the Flintshire recycler closed, it would mean the end of the remanufacturing route for used cathode ray tubes in the UK.  

Sweeep has the country’s only furnace capable of recovering pure glass and lead from CRTs.

Greenaway warned there could be environmental impacts from the potential lost recycling capacity. He said compliance schemes and the EA must “establish that the leaded glass isn’t being lost somehow through less regulated routes.

“If people have been supplying glass to CRT Recycling, the question begs: what happens to that glass now?”

He said without Sweeep’s capacity the closure of CRT Recycling would have even greater ramifications.

New EA Guidance on Best Available Treatment Recovery and Recycling Techniques – incorporated into recyclers’ existing environmental permits - came into force on Christmas Day 2011.

The guidance requires CRTs to be stored and handled indoors or undercover to protect the environment from glass dust and screen coatings.

CRT Recycling said 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 EA said last week that it had met the company about the changes recently.

An EA spokesman said: “Specific details, timescales and costs for any improvement works were not discussed at the meeting but the agency made it clear that the company had time to comply.

“We do not understand why the company would decide to stop its operation because of this.”

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