EPA Approves Alternative CRT Recycling to Combat Stockpiling

Date: June 12, 2013

Source: News Room

In response to the illegal stockpiling of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) from old televisions and computer monitors, the EPA has approved a new method to recycle material that would exempt it from hazardous waste regulations if it is used in copper smelting. EPA considers this approach to be part of the "use/reuse" exclusion under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The agency endorsed the copper smelting option in an April 24 letter and a May 31 webinar for state waste regulators and recyclers concerned about limited recycling options. Regulators have been worried about facilities that move material to other sites in a "shell game" to avoid regulations.

The glass in an average CRT contains about four pounds of lead, enough to require managing it as "hazardous waste" under certain circumstances. But the material is excluded from hazardous waste regulations if it is recycled properly, primarily by a lead smelter or a company making new CRTs. But the dwindling demand for CRTs in the wake of flat screen technology has created a conundrum for recyclers since it no longer has value.

Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin