POWER and automation company ABB says it has recycled 100 tonnes of old variable-speed drives since it began a recycling scheme in the UK in 2003. And the proportion of materials that it recycles has risen in that time: From 90% of the weight of the drive at the start of the scheme, to 97% today.
The scheme recycles variable speed drives made by the ABB and other manufacturers. The drives are collected by the certified waste management company S2S, from bins located at the premises of 12 ABB Authorised Value Providers across the UK, from Glasgow to Sittingbourne. Larger drives, or large quantities of smaller drives, can be collected directly from users’ premises.
S2S is registered as an approved authorised treatment facility (AATF) under the WEEE directive, but variable speed drives are not currently covered by the WEEE Directive, according to S2S’s Alan Dukinfield.
Once the drive has been removed for recycling, ABB issues a certificate that can be used for environmental audits by users complying with ISO 14001.
ABB says that replacing an old drive with a newer model can make an immediate impact on the user’s carbon footprint.
Depending on the size of the drive, operating it for half-a-day can cut carbon emissions by enough to compensate for the carbon impact of manufacturing and eventually disposing of the drive.