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Unwanted TV sets recycling boom

PUBLISHED: 14:21 12 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:25 05 July 2010

YOU'VE heard of butter mountains and wine lakes, but now a desire to own flat-screen televisions has sparked a build-up of unwanted old sets at the region's recycling centres.

YOU'VE heard of butter mountains and wine lakes, but now a desire to own flat-screen televisions has sparked a build-up of unwanted old sets at the region's recycling centres.

In the space of just two days the main household recycling centre in Lowestoft was deluged as customers, fresh from securing bargains in the winter sales, dumped 400 old-style televisions.

Managers of waste centres across Norfolk have reported similar responses as the traditional cathode ray tube (CRT) sets become increasingly obsolete.

Mark Deer, who manages the Lowestoft site for Suffolk County Council, said: "We have been incredibly busy. Last weekend we had 400 televisions brought to us and in my time I have never known that many in one weekend.

"All electrical gadgets are now being recycled because of the January sales. I've also noticed more Playstation consoles and games as well, which we can also recycle."

Mr Deer said it was vital people recycled more and more of their household waste to reduce the pressure on landfill sites and also promised an improvement for people in north Suffolk with a £600,000 revamp of the recycling centre at the South Lowestoft industrial estate under way.

"We are really pleased that the message is getting home about recycling," added Mr Deer. "We appreciate the public coming to us and by March they will have the best recycling facility in Suffolk."

Some environmentalists have labelled flat-screen televisions the 4x4s of home entertainment, claiming they are guilty of heavy power consumption, but Paul Archer, manager of Lowestoft Electrical, said there was a huge consumer demand for the modern, sleeker models.

"We are selling more LCD and plasma televisions and there has been a vast improvement on last year," added Mr Archer.

"LCD is the latest model and the most popular. We are clearing out tube models and won't be buying any more; just the flat screens.

"They take up a lot less space and they are not very heavy, they have a very good picture quality and come in high definition.

"You just can't get the screen size with tube models as the tube would need to be enormous."

Flat-screen televisions broadly come in two varieties - plasma, which range from about 42in to the almost cinematic 100in-plus sizes, and the smaller LCD models.

Householders in Norfolk have also been flocking to dump their old televisions at recycling sites across Norfolk, including Ketteringham, Caister and King's Lynn.

Dan Jacobs, recycling centre technician for Norfolk County Council, said: "We don't have any data but certainly information from on the ground shows that we received significantly more television and CRT monitors this year than last year, predominantly at the larger sites. A lot of people are getting HD-ready, LCD and plasma televisions."

All parts of the television, such as glass, brass, copper and lead can be recycled and the plastic is commonly used to make car mats.

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