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Saturday 23 September 2017

Recycling company boss open to offers for 'piece of history'

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

THE owner of the company which bought the e-voting machines used the equipment in the 2002 general election to vote.

Kurt Kyck, from KMK Metals Recycling Ltd in Tullamore, Co Offaly, said he used the controversial machines in his constituency of Meath, and found it a "super" experience.

"I used them. I voted on them in 2002 as I was living in Meath," he said.

"They were perfect, the way you should do it. It was super. That is what you want."

And he said that buying the machines was an "unusual" piece of business, but that his company was well-used to recycling, scrapping and selling on electronic equipment.

"We're in this business since 1979," he said.

"It's an unusual piece of business but the components are not unusual. We process about 15,000 tonnes of material a year, and in total this is about 300 tonnes of material. The significance of this is your (the Irish Independent's) interest.

"We're an electrical recyclers. We're among the largest in the country. We collect a lot of the electrical waste. These machines are in perfect condition. They're in pristine condition, in the best order you could imagine."

The voting machines will be dismantled, with only the electronic chips used to operate the system being destroyed.

"Two components have to be removed which have to be destroyed under secure arrangements," he said. "I think it's something to do with how the machines work. We have to open each machine and recover these two chips."

Copper wire, computer circuit boards, steel, plastic housing and aluminium will all be recycled and sold. These components are traded on the international commodity markets.

But Mr Kyck said some of the equipment was more useful than others, and would be re-used instead of being sold for scrap.

"There's lovely cases like you would see a rock band have. They're aluminium reinforced shipping cases. Our intention is to re-use them and sell them. People who manufacture instruments would use them, things like microscopes. If a technician was working off site, he could use these to carry valuable testing equipment. The cases would have a foam inlay to fit the device and keep it safe.

The first machines will be collected on Monday, and all will be removed in the next 70 days.

But he said he was open to offers if a pub or history buff wanted to buy a piece of history.

"If somebody wanted one, I'm sure we could (sell one)," he added.

Irish Independent

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