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Old TVs have a new life as recycled glass.

Byline: Hywel Trewyn

THE world's first TV recycling company is set to open in North Wales.

NuLife Glass has spent five years developing and patenting a process to remove toxic metals from glass in television sets.

The company now hopes to save millions of TVs from filling landfill sites as new rules are enforced to control the disposal of old sets.

NuLife has just opened premises at the Castle Park industrial estate in Flint and from Monday will be handling its first delivery of broken-down TVs and computer screens - all with high levels of toxic lead.

The company, which hopes to employ 15 people in its first year, said yesterday it was "encouraged" to set up in Wales because grants were "more generous".

Lead has already been banned from car fuel, paints and tapes. At present, TVs contain more than 3pc of lead.

Later this year, TV cathode ray tubes (CRTs) will be placed on the hazardous waste list by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

At the same time, new directives across the EU will also mean every piece of electronic equipment - be it for the home or business - will have to be recycled.

NuLife Glass has developed what is believed to be the first commercially-available technology that can extract the lead from the glass without destroying the glass structure. The mixture of furnace, electronic and chemical separation of leaded glass means all of the CRT will be recycled.

The two Manchester men behind the venture, Richard Staniszewski and Simon Greer, spent five years in their own garages and offices researching to find a commercially acceptable solution to this waste. They had both worked in recycling for 10 years before establishing NuLife Glass.

Mr Staniszewski said yesterday: "A lot of energy has gone into this. We studied how lead is put into glass and learnt how to take lead out of glass. The key is to do it in a commercial way. In the past, recycling TVs would cost up to a pounds 100 an unit. We're doing it much cheaper at around pounds 5-7.

"We're setting up a distribution partnership. In the meantime, anybody can turn up at our premises and we'll take their old TV or computer from them."

He added: "While computer screens are sat on desks there are no problems. They happen when screens are crushed in landfills and lead seeps out.

"It seeps into the water course and gets into plants which we eat.

"At NuLife, we first of all dismantle the set or screen and remove the plastic and electronic components. Then we separate the glass. The glass is then treated at a high temperature with a secret chemical ingredient and electronic wizardry. What we get out is lead in 99pc pure form and a glass product. We keep the glass which can be reused as an aggregate or bulking material."

Richard Staniszewski and Simon Greer had many enquiries from around the world after they exhibited their technology at the Globe 2002 Climate Change Conference in Vancouver, Canada, last month where they met Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

GREEN LEAD NORTH Wales leads the field when it comes to the recycling of some materials.

A pounds 127m investment in UPM-Kymmene's paper mill at Shotton - Britain's largest newsprint mill - will convert the plant to 100pc recycled fibre, boosting the weight of recovered newspapers and magazines from 300,000 tonnes to 620,000 tonnes every year from 2004.

Waste paper will be collected from an additional four million households in Wales, Scotland and the North West of England to feed the mill.

Equipment designed, developed and built by Conwy-based Clwyd Refrigeration will help clear the UK of a growing mountain of redundant fridges and freezers. Each year 3.2 million of the domestic cold appliances reach the end of their useful life - equivalent to about 600 tonnes of reclaimable ozone-destroying CFC gases, 45,000 tonnes of ferrous metals, 5,000 tonnes of non-ferrous metals, 1,500 tonnes of glass and 14,000 tonnes of plastic.

Clwyd Refrigeration's fridge recycling and gas recovery plant is the first of its kind in the UK and opens the door to a process which separates out the foam, steel and plastic into high grade, recyclable material.


GREEN SCHEME: NuLife Glass' Richard Staniszewski, left, John Prescott and Simon Greer, also of NuLife, at the Globe 2002 Climate Change Conference in Vancouver, Canada last month
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 5, 2002
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