Archive for the ‘batttery recycling’ Category

Welsh councils encouraged to reveal end markets

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The Welsh Assembly Government is urging councils to divulge where their recyclable materials are sent for reprocessing after rejecting proposals to make this a legal obligation.

Jane Davidson, environment minister, WAG

Jane Davidson, environment minister, WAG

 We must stop thinking of waste as something we need to dispose of and start thinking of it as a resource

 
Jane Davidson, environment minister, WAG 

The WAG is encouraging the 22 local authorities in Wales to make use of amendments to the waste database WasteDataFlow to report a range of end markets for recovered material – as opposed to just one destination as was the case in the past.

The mechanism to do this will be also be available to councils in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland when it comes into effect to report data for the period October to December 2010. This data will be made available in March 2011.

The WAG had previously considered proposals to make local authorities legally obligated to report end markets for material to encourage transparency and encourage material to be reprocessed locally.

However, plans tabled by Assembly Member Nerys Evans in February 2008 were criticised for the potential cost involved and loss of competitive advantage (see letsrecycle.com story).

The new amendments to WasteDataFlow have no binding obligation for councils to report the outcomes.

A spokeswoman for the WAG told letsrecycle.com that councils would be “encouraged” to make use of the opportunity as there is “no big stick” in the form of penalties backing up the initiative.

Environment minister Jane Davidson, who had supported Ms Evans’ attempts to drive councils to reveal end markets, welcomed this latest move to encourage councils to offer greater transparency over their recycling.

She said: “We must stop thinking of waste as something we need to dispose of and start thinking of it as a resource. By keeping as much as possible of this waste in Wales local authorities can generate much-needed funds, while Welsh industries won’t need to look overseas for raw materials.

“It is still better to recycle overseas than to landfill at home. But it is greener and makes more financial sense to process recycling here in Wales where Welsh local authorities, businesses and jobs can benefit.”

Reporting

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WAG

Proposals for greater transparency around recycling appeared again in the Wales Municipal Waste Sector Plan – which is intended to feed into the Towards Zero Waste strategy for Wales. In the Sector Plan, it was identified that there was a need for local authorities to “report more accurately”.

Under the previous WasteDataFlow system, councils had to report the final destination of their waste which was categorised by facility type. However, under the new system, councils will be able to put a company and site name against the end location for the material in the question.

The WAG, Environment Agency Wales and the Welsh Local Government Association are working closely with local authorities to help them to make the most of the new system.

Study shows mercury risk in flat panel recycling

Monday, September 27th, 2010

The presence of mercury in flat panel displays, such as laptop monitors and LCD TVs, has thrown up potential health and safety issues in a WRAP-commissioned study into the technical and commercial potential for recycling the items.

 

 
 

The research, which was carried out by environmental consultancy Axion Consulting, aims to help WRAP understand the recycling outlets for flat panel displays (FPDs), as there are currently no automated commercial processes in the UK and Europe.

 

However, due to an increased uptake in items, WRAP anticipates that the number of FPDs in the WEEE waste stream will rise “dramatically” in the next few years, requiring a suitable recycling outlet.

In particular the trial looked at the presence of mercury in the cold compact fluorescent light in the ‘backlighting’ system for LCD TVs, laptop computers and desktop monitors. The existence of this mercury means that end-of-life FPDs are classed as hazardous waste.

The study took the form of four demonstration trials. The first looked at the manual disassembly of FPDs, then the shredding of FPDs, the optical sorting of shredded FPDs using TiTech optical sorting technology and mercury decontamination.

The manual disassembly, which took place at Bruce Metals in South Yorkshire, was intended to remove the mercury content from the FPDs. The stripping of the items also allowed the researchers to investigate the potential harm and exposure of workers in a commercial operation.

Mercury

Mercury remained a key issue throughout the trial, with it being stated that there were a number of backlight breakages in the manual disassembly element of the trial. And, as the trial was undertaken without significant time pressures, it was suggested that a commercial operation would face a higher level of backlight breakages.

The conclusion of the WRAP study highlighted that employees at an FPD recycling facility would be subjected to levels of mercury “higher than is acceptable”. However, it suggested that this could be reduced with personal protective equipment and local extract ventilation.

Furthermore a suitable washing medium to remove mercury from the FPD items could be not found in the trial, with results from the large-scale trial proving inconclusive. And, even under laboratory conditions, there was an uncertainty as to whether mercury could be completely washed from the shredded FPDs.

In a bid to improve on this, the researchers then used Aqua Regia – a strong acid – to attempt to remove mercury from the FPDs. The acid removed more than the water washing technique but only 56% of mercury added to the shredded material could be accounted for in output fraction.

The research concluded that more work would need to be done to establish a wash capable of removing high levels of mercury in a commercial process, as well as a greater understanding of where the washed mercury goes and alternative methods for its removal.

Facility

Addressing the potential for delivering a large-scale FPD recycling facility, the research states that a 20,000 tonnes-a-year capacity facility would potentially cost £3.798 million to develop, which would be capable of processing five tonnes of FPDs each hour.

It said the plant could consist of:

  • A three-shaft shredder;
  • 8mm flip-flop sieve to remove the fines;
  • Mercury washing stage to recovery mercury;
  • Dryer to dry the shred prior to separation;
  • Air ballistic unit to remove the thin films;
  • Magnet to remove ferrous metals;
  • Eddy current system to remove non-ferrous metals and circuit boards;
  • TiTech x-tract machine to remove glass/film composite; and
  • TiTech PolySort to separate polymers

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WRAP – FPD study

 

However, the study claimed that there were issues relating to capture rate of plastics found in FPDs, with near-infrared sorting equipment used in the trial unable to detect a commercial viable level of the black plastics present in the FPD items.

 

Source: www.letsrecycle.com

CRR calls for “clearer” recycling terminology

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Clearer terminology is needed to describe how recyclables collected at the kerbside are sorted, according to the Campaign for Real Recycling.

 
 

The group – which campaigns on behalf of a number of reprocessors and social enterprises for better quality of recyclables- claims that definitions to date have been confusing.

 

CRR calls for “clearer” recycling terminology

CRR calls for “clearer” recycling terminology

It is now suggesting the terms ‘kerb-sorted’ and ‘MRF-sorted’, which denotes when recyclables are sent to a materials recycling facility (MRF), to differentiate between what it sees as the two main collection methods.

The body – which has been a firm advocate of sorting recyclables at the kerbside – hopes that the new terminology will counter the perception by some that householders have to put more effort in when putting out recyclables which are then sorted at the kerbside.

For instance, it says that the word ‘commingled’ is often used to describe material which is destined for a MRF when this material is often sorted at the kerbside instead.

Calling it simply by where the sorting takes place is logical and appropriate

 
Andrew Perkins, Aylesford Newsprint

Mal Williams, chair of the Campaign for Real Recycling (CRR), said: “There has been some confusion of terms in the past and as more and more people and organisations tune in to the need for quality in recycling, clearer terms are needed.

“Nearly all householders put their recyclables in a receptacle of some kind outside the house and there is a subsequent need for sorting of the material. That much is common to almost all systems and the effort from the householder is much the same.

“We make the point that some systems allow for quality control and feedback at the kerb, which results in better quality material. It seems logical to us to say ‘kerb-sorted’ and ‘MRF-sorted’, which neatly describes both the systems and the materials in one go, and this is what we recommend.”

Aylesford

The new terminology was welcomed by Andrew Perkins of Aylesford Newsprint, which is an indirect member of the CRR through its membership of the Paperchain campaign.

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“We certainly know the difference when we see the tonnage. Calling it simply by where the sorting takes place is logical and appropriate. Industry bodies such as CIWM should be leading in coining suitable, everyday terminology for these now universal activities. There is too much misunderstanding at the moment.”

Joy Blizzard, chair of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, added: “This is a helpful suggestion and I hope it will bring some clarity to an issue that has been surrounded by a lot of complex terminology.”

Source: www.letsrecycle.com