World first for Sittingbourne recycling firm
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
A waste electrical and electronics recycling firm has achieved a
world first by recovering lead and glass from old televisions and
computer screens on a commercial scale.
SWEEEP Kuusakoski, based in Sittingbourne, has injected
£2million into the development of a ground-reaking furnace.
It has pioneered the recovery of lead and pure glass from leaded
cathode ray tubes (CRT).
The new plant, which is being officially opened today, recovers
one kilogramme of lead from each of the 4,000 CRTs
it can process a day by heating the granulated leaded glass to
This enables the Kent-Finnish joint venture to reprocess around
10 tonnes of CRT glass a day from 60 tonnes of CRTs.
The project has created new jobs and SWEEEP, which now employs
200 people, has taken on workers laid-off when the Thamesteel mill
in nearby Sheerness shut down.
The facility is due to be opened by Michael Fallon – business
Minister and Sevenoaks MP.
Speaking ahead of the opening, Mr Fallon said: "SWEEEP
Kuusakoski's new furnace will help tackle the growing global
recycling problem of how to recycle old televisions and computer
screens. Their continued success, employing more than 150 people,
is great news for Kent.
"The green economy is at the heart of our economic recovery and
the UK recycling industry has a very important role to play."
The furnace is powered by green energy generated from a
photo-voltaic solar panel system. It generates approximately 50KWp,
enough to power 12
households for a year and saving about 28 tonnes of CO2 emissions
in a similar period.
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