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Yorkshire company will recycle old drives

01 April, 2002

Yorkshire company will recycle old drives

Although the details of the impending European WEEE - Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment - Directive have yet to be finalised, it is likely to make suppliers of drives and other industrial equipment responsible for recycling their products at the end of their service lives. The aim of the directive, which could come into force within three years, is to end the indiscriminate dumping of more than six million tonnes of equipment every year in the EU.

In anticipation of WEEE, the soft-start specialist Saftronics has set up a company to provide recycling services for suppliers of equipment such as drives, soft-starts and PLCs. The new Huddersfield-based operation, called RID UK, will offer consultancy on the directive and its implications, and provide a sub-contract collection and strip-down service for redundant equipment.

RID (Recycle Industrial Drives) says that by focusing on industrial control equipment, it is offering a more comprehensive recycling service than general-purpose recycling operations. For example, it will be able to identify components such as capacitors and semiconductors that require specialised treatment, and will recover metals and other components from circuit boards before sending them on to waste treatment companies.

RID will collect the redundant industrial equipment from anywhere in the UK and process it at its West Yorkshire premises.

RID director Alan Dukinfield says that Saftronics decided to set up the new company when it was faced with the prospect of having to recycle its own products. "We realised we would have to do something ourselves," he says. He adds that RID has already signed up its first drives customers but he cannot name them at this stage.

Even before the WEEE directive comes into force, some companies are already recycling equipment as part of their ISO14001 accreditation.

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