Australians offer answer to toxic old TVs
Monday 01 June 2009
Australia's first television glass recycling plant is calling for New Zealanders' old televisions, as environmental organisations on both sides of the Tasman sea try to stem the flow of toxic TVs to rubbish dumps.
Increasing numbers of people are dumping lead-containing cathode-ray tube televisions as they buy new flat-screen and digital televisions before the switch to digital broadcasting.
The change is due in 2013 in Australia and 2012-2015 in New Zealand.
Most discarded TV sets end up in landfill, with the toxins they contain such as lead, mercury and arsenic.
Adelaide company CRT Recycling has used A$290,000 (£144,000) of taxpayers' money to open the first TV glass recycling plant in Australia.
Managing director Michelle Morton said the plant, which turns lead-laced television glass into material that can be used for new television and computer screens, was running at less than five per cent of its capacity.
"This is a non-renewable resource that we can completely reuse to make new televisions but it's mostly still going to landfill," she said.
Two New Zealand companies are awaiting hazardous substance permits so they can send television screens to be recycled by CRT.
The recycled glass would be sent to Malaysia to make new screens, said Ms Morton.
Unlike some similar plants, CRT does not separate glass from lead.
Ms Morton said that saved TV-makers the cost of adding lead to make a new screen, saved mining of new lead and reduced CO2 emissions from the recycling process (by lowering the melting temperature of the glass).
Jo Knight of charitable consultancy Zero Waste Trust said it would be ideal if New Zealand could recycle its own TV screens. "[But] unless we get something in place quickly they're all going to end up in landfill."
She said Kiwis needed a safer way to recycle toxic old TVs than waiting for inorganic waste collections.
Zero Waste Trust wants the Government to ban sending old TVs to landfill.
It has been estimated New Zealand has 10 million cathode-ray tubes from computers and televisions still in use or waiting to be disposed of.
New Zealand company RCN dismantles old TVs and separates the lead-bearing glass from the rest of the glass in the screen. The glass is exported to a lead smelter where it is used to help process lead.
The Ministry for the Environment said computer monitors in good condition handed in on a special recycling day last year were sent overseas to be reused. The rest were shipped to South Korea for recycling.
This article is taken from The New Zealand Herald
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Greenland’s dark snow may start global warming ‘feedback loop’
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
Campaigners lobby Duchess of Cornwall to persuade her son-in-law to cease Knebworth solar farm
Climate change means rate of growth of trees has gone up by 77%
BMC GF01 Ultegra Disc Road Bike, review: Road bike brakes are going through a revolution
- 1 Scottish independence results live - The reunited kingdom: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Y1 Teacher required for a So...
Highly Competitive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - FINANCIAL SERVICES - Senior...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Residential Conveyancer - Wiltshire We have a...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Long term position for a KS2...