$10M mercury waste facility opens in WA

A $10 million facility with the capacity to treat 2000 tonnes of mercury-contaminated waste each year has opened in Kwinana, Western Australia.

According to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, the BMT Mercury Technology facility will accept, store and treat mercury-contaminated waste from various sources, including the state’s oil and gas industry.

“Given the state government’s focus on waste, I am very pleased to see this facility start operations and increase capacity,” Mr Dawson said.

Mr Dawson said the facility is consistent with the Minamata Convention and the Basel Convention, which guide global jurisdictions on the environmentally sound management and transport of mercury.

“Not only does this facility address our priority to manage waste locally, generate jobs and protect the environment, it is also part of our responsibility under global conventions, of which Australia is a signatory,” he said.

Mr Dawson said the facility will prevent waste from being exported for treatment, left in long-term storage or ending up in landfill.

“BMT’s facility is an example of how Western Australia can manage some of the impacts locally, and reduce the risks involved with transporting hazardous materials,” Mr Dawson said.

“It also supports our resources industry, and results in better waste management and environmental protection outcomes for Western Australia.”

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Ecocycle acquires AI-powered mercury-safe technology

Mercury recovery and recycling company Ecocyle has acquired the first automated ‘mercury-safe’ flat screen recycling machine from Irish firm FPD Recycling.

According to an Ecocycle statement, the FDP PRO is a fully automated recycling system that can safely and efficiently recycle flat panel displays, including televisions, monitors and laptops.

“Driven by artificial intelligence technology, the FDP PRO has fixed operation costs and transforms the recycling of flat panels into a more profitable business, while providing environmental and economic benefits,” the statement reads.

“It can depollute up to 60 displays in an hour and features a state-of-the-art filtration system to protect workers from exposure to mercury, lead and other hazardous materials.”

The new technology enables process speeds of up to 1.2 tonnes per hour and recovery rates of more than 80 per cent.

“The arrival of this new recycling technology comes amid Australia’s worsening electronic waste problem,” the statement reads.

To tackle the accelerating waste stream, Victoria introduced a ban on e-waste to landfill earlier this year, while South Australia is strengthening preexisting e-waste laws.

“As e-waste regulations tighten across the country, Ecocycle is ready to take on increased levels of e-waste with the help of its new and existing technologies,” the statement reads.

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