Leading European supply chain company, Wincanton, has invested £4M in the first state-of-the-art WEEE recycling plant in the UK. Capable of processing up to 75,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent of 826,500 washing machines, 67 million kettles, or 536 million mobile phones, the machine takes waste electronic and electrical items back to the basic material required for recycling, in line with the requirements of the WEEE Directive. Wincanton is already a leading recycler of white goods in the UK.
Based at Wincanton’s recycling facility in Billingham, near Middlesbrough, the machine can process a wide range of electrical items. Goods fed into the machine go through a cross-cut grinder to release all the internal components, such as circuit boards, batteries, and capacitors, without damaging their integrity. These can then be recycled. The remaining components, including metals and plastics, are granulated and separated to their constituent parts for recycling.
Under the WEEE Directive, it will be necessary for retailers and manufacturers to take back and recycle end-of-life electrical goods using ‘best available treatment, recovery and recycling techniques’. When the new machine is commissioned, in time for implementation of the WEEE Directive in January 2006, Wincanton will be able to provide a ‘one-stop solution’ to meet WEEE collection needs.
This plant will complement Wincanton’s existing fridge recycling capabilities, and its national network to collect, sort and consolidate WEEE.