|Above, Patrick Watts, Managing Director of SWEEEP Kuusakoski, left, and Michael Fallon, MP and Minister of State for Business & Enterprise, officially open the new furnace.|
SWEEEP Kuusakoski, a Kent, U.K.-based waste electrical and electronics recycling company, has invested £2 million to develop what it says is the world’s first commercial scale glass furnace, allowing the company to recover lead and pure glass from the leaded cathode ray tube (CRT) glass in old televisions and computer screens.
The furnace, based in Sittingbourne, U.K., can recover one kilogram of lead from each of the 4,000 CRTs it can process a day by heating the granulated leaded glass to 1,000 degrees Celcius.
With the investment, SWEEEP Kuusakoski, a joint venture between U.K.-based SWEEEP and Kuusakoski, the Finland-based metals recycling company, will be able to reprocess about 10 metric tons of CRT glass a day.
The official grand opening of the furnace was Nov. 30, 2012. Taking part in the opening ceremony were Right Honorable Michael Fallon, MP and Minister of State for Business & Enterprise. He was joined by Pekka Huhtaniemi, the Finnish Ambassador to Great Britain; and Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne & Sheppey. Other attendees at the ceremony included representatives from the recycling industry and local authorities, as well as the SWEEEP Kuusakoski’s senior management.
Speaking at the opening, Fallon, said, “SWEEEP Kuusakoski’s new furnace will help tackle the growing global recycling problem of how to recycle old televisions and computer screens.
Justin Greenaway, contracts manager for SWEEEP Kuusakoski, added, “Innovation in industry is part of the U.K.’s heritage and this is still very much the case with the opening of the SWEEEP Kuusakoski waste TV glass recycling furnace. 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,” Greenaway continued, “we have successfully commercialized a U.K. developed technology and can now recover large quantities of lead that would otherwise have harmed the environment.”
The company says it has gained end-of-waste status from the Environment Agency on the cleaned x-ray sorted panel glass. It also has successfully established sustainable markets for the recovered lead, the front of screen glass, and the leaded glass from the rear of the screens that is generated in the recycling process.
In a release, the company says that the furnace is due to collaboration between SWEEEP Kuusakoski and inventor Simon Greer.