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Why one recycling business is angry with the EU

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A UK-based television recycling firm is angry with the EU on account of its regulations

The founders of SWEEEP Kuusakoski have spoken out about their anger towards the EU and its policies, after a Dutch competitor was allowed to operate against EU rules resulting in a significant loss of business for the UK-based company.

Patrick Watts and his wife Pamela Watts opened their £5 million recycling plant in Sittingbourne, Kent, in 2007. The company became highly successful within the WEEE recycling industry and in 2012, the owners, including partner Justin Greenaway, invested in a state-of-the-art TV cathode ray tube recycling furnace.

SWEEEP recycling firm is angry at EU "meddling"

SWEEEP Kuusakoski centre in Kent

The furnace can recycle pure glass and lead from the cathode ray tubes (CRT) found in televisions and computer screens. When in operation, the furnace can process 4,000 CRTs per day.

The new furnace was officially opened by Conservative Minister Michael Fallon and was visited by David Cameron and Theresa May, both of whom were impressed by the recycling firm’s innovative furnace, which adheres strictly to EU regulations for e-waste disposal and was approved by the UK’s Environmental Agency.

Not long after the furnace opened, a firm in the Netherlands launched its own CRT recycling plant, which does not adhere to the strict regulations imposed by the EU, who has so far chosen to ignore the company rule flouting. The recycled materials from the Dutch plant have been flooding the UK market, leaving SWEEEP Kuusakoski short of business.

The SWEEEP Kuusakoski furnace has now been temporarily closed and Mr and Mrs Watts told that: “Brussels meddling ruined [their] business”.

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