Jan 23 - Recyclers Oppose Effort to Allow Landfilling of TV Glass

Share Thanks to CA's Electronic Waste Recycling Act, Californians have recycled more than 1 billion pounds of e-waste since the program's inception in 2003. Cathode-ray tubes (CRT) television and monitors are a big part of that recycling stream. For the last 2 years however, CRT glass has become a problem for recyclers. Traditional glass recycling method of lead smelting and glass-to-glass recycling are now limited. With diminishing recycling market for CRT glass, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has a proposal that would ease barriers to landfilling of leaded glass for CRT as a way to help recyclers cope.

Although well intention, this proposal would go against the original intent of the law, which is that consumers pay for the recycling of the material, not to landfill it.

Some recyclers support DTSC's proposed emergency regulations as it provides financial relief (the state pays recyclers only after recyclers ships the glass). However, there are other e-waste recyclers and environmental groups who view that the regulations are not prudent.

As quoted in Record Net, Bill McGeever, vice president of operations of ECS Refining in Stockton said: "We think land-filling glass that has a commercial value is ridiculous, especially under the guise of a recycling law."

Sheila Davis, executive director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, a consumer group focused on the environmental impact of electronics production, use and disposal says:

"I think the state is moving in the absolute wrong direction. Allowing such glass into landfills poses the risk of lead and other metals leeching into the ground, which was the reason such practices were banned."