He was joined by His Excellency Mr Pekka Huhtaniemi, the Finnish Ambassador to Great Britain; and Mr Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne & Sheppey. The 150 guests also included representatives from the recycling industry and local authorities, as well as the company’s senior management.
Speaking at the opening, Rt Hon Michael Fallon, said: “SWEEEP Kuusakoski’s new furnace will help tackle the growing global recycling problem of how to recycle old televisions and computer screens.
“Their continued success, employing more than 150 people, is great news for Kent. The green economy is at the heart of our economic recovery and the UK recycling industry has a very important role to play.”
Justin Greenaway, contracts manager, SWEEEP Kuusakoski “Innovation in industry is part of the UK’s heritage and this is still very much the case with the opening of the SWEEEP Kuusakoski waste TV glass recycling furnace.
“Waste TV glass is a global issue and the UK recycling industry is at the forefront of providing the solution. The drive for greater resource security is an opportunity for sustainable economic growth and it is pleasing to be part of this.
“Through the work with our technical partner Nulife Glass, we have successfully commercialised a UK developed technology and can now recover large quantities of lead that would otherwise have harmed the environment.”
The company has gained end of waste status from the Environment Agency on the cleaned x-ray sorted panel glass. It has successfully established sustainable markets for the recovered lead, the front of screen glass, and the former leaded glass from the rear of the screens, generated from the recycling process.
The new furnace is the result of a high level development collaboration between SWEEEP Kuusakoski and inventor Simon Greer, and is powered totally by green energy. To ensure the company minimises it own impact on the environment it has recently installed a photo-voltaic system which generates approximately 50KWp, enough to power 12 households for a year and saves approximately 28 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.