Officials in Wisconsin have announced they will not be allowing leaded CRT glass accumulating for long periods of time to count as recycling under the state take-back program.
"Our goal is to ensure that glass collected under E-Cycle Wisconsin does not end up in stockpiles and is instead legitimately recycled," officials from Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) state in a letter sent this week to Wisconsin e-scrap firms. "We also want to maintain a level playing field among recyclers and manufacturers."
Under the E-Cycle Wisconsin program, electronic manufacturers are required to fund the recycling of end-of-life consumer electronics. Their yearly obligations vary depending on sales in the state and are fulfilled through working with e-scrap firms that are contracted to recycle the material either themselves or via downstream partners.
The letter notes that in the case of CRT funnel glass, which contains lead, a few Wisconsin firms have been sending glass to an emerging downstream player that has yet to install the equipment necessary to fully recycle the glass. That company is Closed Loop Refining and Recovery, a processor with plans to build a furnace first in Ohio, then in Arizona.
"Until the furnace is up and running and processing CRT glass, the weight of any glass sent to Closed Loop and stored at any of its facilities may not be counted for manufacturer credit under E-Cycle Wisconsin," the notice states. The letter was sent by E-Cycle Wisconsin's program coordinator, Sarah Murray.
In a statement provided to E-Scrap News, Closed Loop CEO David Cauchi asserted, "The DNR and Sarah Murray showed a willful intent to damage our business with this notice." He added the company would be addressing the notice directly with DNR in the coming days.
Murray explained to E-Scrap News the state recently reached out to 25 firms to gauge where CRT glass was being sent for final processing. Three of the firms noted Closed Loop as one of their partner. After looking into the state of the company's operations in Arizona and Ohio, E-Cycle Wisconsin decided Closed Loop did not satisfy the requirements of the program.
"This is not in any way meant to single out Closed Loop," Murray said. "But looking at the law, for pounds to count they have to be recycled."
Closed Loop leaders last week said the company has amassed thousands of tons of leaded glass between their Arizona and Ohio operations. According to the company, a furnace will be up and running in Ohio sometime between June and October 2015.
The company has always contended that in order to feed a furnace with enough leaded CRT glass, it's necessary to accumulate material beforehand. Other emerging processors, such as Nulife Glass in New York, have echoed that sentiment.
Murray said DNR was not aware of any processors other than Closed Loop accumulating Wisconsin glass without the technology or downstream partners in place to recycle it. According to Murray, no Wisconsin glass has been sent to Nulife Glass thus far – that firm is currently accumulating glass as well and plans to install its own furnace in 2015.
*For more information go to http://resource-recycling.com