Charity TV recycling gives flat panel screens a new lease of life

A guest post by Recycling Lives’ Flat Panel Display Recycling Manager, Neil Dallison…

“Recycling Lives is using its new Flat Panel Display Unit processing centre and its new eBay shop to divert second-hand televisions, and TV parts, from landfill.

Due to the reduced cost of new LCD and Plasma technology, fewer customers are opting to have their old units repaired, choosing instead to simply purchase a new product. This trend has contributed to the decline of the TV repair business as television engineers find themselves less able to carry out cost effective repairs for their customers.

Recycling Lives receives around 1,000 flat panel display (FPD) units each month and is able to divert unwanted items away from landfill and process them in a variety of ways, depending on their condition.

Televisions delivered to local council waste sites are brought to our specialised FPD treatment facility in Preston. Each unit is carefully weighed, recorded and inspected for defects.

If units have no visible damage, they are PAT tested and sent to our in-house TV repair centre. We prepare the unit for resale in accordance with the latest PAS141:2011 standard for REEE (Reuse Electrical and Electronic Equipment), which gives potential purchasers confidence that the items that they purchase meet standards in areas such as safety and functionality.

Functioning units and unit parts are sold via our popular eBay store, which boasts a 100% positive feedback score and is set to achieve both “power seller” and “trusted seller” status by the end of the month. We sell over 150 television parts per month, with over 400 unique items currently available in our store. 40% of our LCD television parts are shipped to Europe and other international destinations.

With an average product price of just £24.99, with free shipping to anywhere in the UK, we pride ourselves on offering our customers a great deal – we also offer a warranty on all of the items that we sell.

When we process a unit that has irreparable damage to the case or screen but can still be switched on, we determine which parts can be guaranteed as functional and carefully remove them to be sold to television service engineers.  The remainder of the unit is recycled on our Flat Panel Display processing line, which dismantles FPD units that cannot be repaired or have parts missing.  

The various components from the units, including metals, plastics, wires and circuit boards are removed before sending the remaining screen into our Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (CCFL) cabin to have the CCFLs safely removed. As these lamps contain mercury vapours, which are hazardous to both human health and the environment as a whole, screens are handled by trained Recycling Lives staff members in a safe and controlled environment before any hazardous waste is contained and transported to a specialist treatment plant.

The Recycling Lives FPD facility is not just a crucial way to divert reusable goods from landfill.

In conjunction with our eBay store, the department is able to provide TV repair engineers worldwide with a reliable source of used parts that are considerably cheaper than new, enabling them to complete more jobs within a budget that suits their customers. Our FPD processing centre is another environmentally and socially responsible venture from Recycling Lives.”