CRTs and CRT Glass were once easily recycled into new CRTs; however, the demand for new CRTs has collapsed in favor of new flat panel technologies.
Because of rising costs, negative economic incentives, and shifts in CRT glass markets, some CRT processors and recyclers are choosing to store the glass indefinitely, rather than send it for recycling (or disposal), which increases the risk of mismanagement and/or abandonment of the CRTs.
– US EPA, September 2014
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH WASTE CRT's?
In the electronics recycling industry, waste processing changes over time as methods improve or markets shift. CRT recycling used to be what is known as a 'closed loop process' where old leaded glass tubes were recycled into new ones; however, new technology does not use leaded glass tubes. (Think: flat panel tv's and computer monitors.) There is no longer a need for the leaded glass which used to be a commodity. With the absense of a downstream outlet for leaded glass the commodity, the market no longer supported these businesses, and some recyclers began stockpiling CRT waste.
We now know that some computer recycling companies stockpiled and left behind over 100 million pounds of CRT tubes and glass when they went out of business, and that "Materials Processing Corp. (MPC) in Minnesota went out of business after being fined $125,000 by the state for improperly storing crushed cathode ray tubes." One company in Kentucky admitted to illegally dumping electronic waste into a hole in their backyard.
Due to these changes recycling companies now needed a new and stable way to handle this CRT waste that didn't rely on the commodity market to support their business, and waste generators still need a safe and reliable way to handle their end-of-life electronics. As a waste generator, you are responsible for seeing to the safe and legal disposal or recycling of your end-of-life electronics. Finding a reputable recycling partner is the best way to reduce your liability, so let's take a closer look at the mineable cell solution in CRT recycling that is now being used.
HOW ARE THEY RECYCLED?
When televisions and computer monitors containing CRT leaded glass are received at the end facility, they are dismantled by hand. The tube is separated from other recyclable materials and sent to a shredding facility where leaded glass is further separated from steel components. The steel is recycled and crushed leaded glass is then treated with a proprietary solution to stabilize it. Each batch of crushed material is tested and must pass two TCLP (Toxic Characteristics Leaching Procedure) tests in order to be placed into a mineable cell. The Mineable Cell Solution Process is a procedure designed to effectively treat leaded glass from CRT waste material so that it may be safely stored until such time as a need for it occurs or when recycling methods have again advanced to a point where this waste can be effectively recycled into usable materials.
TRC's approved partners offer data security, certified recycling and end facilities, a vetted recycling process, and documentation you need for reporting, including a certificate of recycling. Visit our webpage about items accepted and be assured you safely and responsibly recycle waste like used electronics from your business.
Ready to recycle? Schedule a pick up at your business now!