New process for dismantling LCD screens is developed
The Sweden-based metals recycling company Stena Metall Group has launched what it is describing as a closed process for handling LCD screens. “The degree of recycling is high, and there are major environmental benefits,” says Staffan Johansson, managing director for Griag Glasrecycling, a part of the Stena Metall Group. “Moreover, we are able to move away from manual dismantling. ”Stena notes that more than 100 million flat screens have been sold in Europe, though recycling methods that are effective, environmentally sound and reduce the risks for exposure to mercury for those dismantling the discarded screens, are lacking. “We have made great investments in solving the recycling of the rapidly growing mountain of discarded flat screens,” Johansson adds. “We have developed an automated process. The degree of recycling is significantly higher than the requirements that will be set in the future with a tougher WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive, which states how much of Europe’s electronic waste must be recycled. ”The process separates metals, plastics, circuit boards and glass containing liquid crystal.
The company says the closed process is important, especially when handling mercury lamps that are a part of LCD screens. “It is easy for mercury lamps to break during manual handling; this gives rise to health risks for those carrying out the dismantling,” says Snorre Kolseth, manager of Stena’s WEEE research and development department. “With our sealed and automated process, this risk can be avoided. ”Stena Metall Group’s WEEE business area has operations in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Romania and Italy