Williams, KS and Mcdonnell, TMJ
Recycling of liquid crystal displays: manual or automated processes?
Proceedings 5th World Recycling Forum WRF 2010
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The estimated quantity of liquid crystal displays (LCD) being sold in television sets worldwide will be close to 200 million units. The majority of these units will contain materials which are classed as hazardous under European and Asian legislation. Until now the waste display stream has been dominated by the cathode ray tube (CRT) and there exists established automated and manual techniques for the treatment of this waste product. The changing nature of the display waste stream from CRT to LCD will present recyclers with a different set of hazards to deal with. In 2009 the LCDs accounted for only 2% of the display waste stream. With LCDs superseding CRT technology it is inevitable that the numbers requiring treatment will rise sharply. This requires recyclers to develop an alternative processing technology. The unique properties of LCDs in terms of their construction and composition means that the choices lie between (i) time consuming manual disassembly and (ii) an automated route. Each technique has its own implications in the control of hazardous components. This paper evaluates the two different routes and compares and contrasts their environmental and economic impacts on recycling organisations.