FIFTY jobs are to be created at the head office of a national electronic recycling firm set up in Huddersfield.
The company, matrix-direct recycle, was launched this year by former Colne Valley High School pupil Craig Thompson, 33.
He is already in talks with two local councils and some large companies to handle their discarded computers.
And he aims to set up a nationwide network of agents to collect redundant electronics equipment such as computers, monitors, printers and videos.
The parts will be brought to the company base in Armitage Bridge, dismantled into components, and sent off to specialist refineries to recover materials such as gold, silver, copper, and plastic.
"We have been working on it since last year so it has taken us 10 months to set up," said Craig, of Lindley.
"Plastic from computers can be melted down at the refinery and used again for things like garden furniture and telephone casings.
"There is a ready market for silver and copper and gold.
"Glass has a high lead content and has to go to a specialist refinery in Germany for reprocessing."
Electronic equipment which has reached the end of its life can no longer be dumped in landfill sites because of new European environmental legislation: the WEEE Directive (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment).
The aim is to stem the mounting tide of waste electronics products buried in landfill sites, which are hazardous to the environment.
In 1998, 22m units of IT equipment weighing 357 tonnes were discarded in Britain according to the Department of Trade and Industry.
These can leak hazardous substances such as mercury and lead.
And the figures for IT waste are expected to increase by 3% to 5% per year because of the fast turnover of equipment.
Craig, who is married with two children, has worked in the IT business since leaving school.
The nationwide network of agents will be run on franchise basis, which was launched yesterday at the National Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham.
Craig will be recruiting extra staff to break up the equipment and sort it out into its component parts as the business develops.
In 1998 the population produced discarded electronic equipment totalling:
* 22m computers and associated equipment
* 12m radios, TVs and stereos
* 77m lamps
* 10m large household appliances
* 15m small household appliances
* 8m toys
* 6m electrical tools
For more information log onto www.dti.gov.uk
For details about matrix-direct recyle go to www.m-d-recycle.co.uk or ring 01484 353777.