If you are you an electronics recycler operating in the US or use a US recycler to manage your e-waste, enforcement of the CRT Rule matters to you.
Yesterday, TransparentPlanet participated in a call arranged by the USEPA in response to its April, 2014 petition signed by over 240 representatives of the US e-recycling industry urging USEPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to enforce the CRT Rule.
In December 2012, TransparentPlanet released the US CRT Glass Management Report: A bellwether for sustainability of electronics recycling in the US. At that time, it was estimated that 660 million pounds of CRT glass were stockpiled at locations across the US. Over the past few months alone, reports reveal that number has been far exceeded and continues to worsen. This is hazardous CRT glass that customers, states and OEMs have paid to have properly recycled and is supposed to be regulated under federal law.
Monday’s discussion focused on enforcement of the ‘speculative accumulation’ requirement of the CRT Rule, which states that 75% of the CRT glass that a recycler accumulates in a calendar year must be recycled and not stored. EPA officials explained that in most cases, enforcement authority is a state responsibility. The TransparentPlanet group pointed out that state enforcement officials have not been trained on how to inspect an electronics recycling facility and that the EPA needed to provide leadership. EPA officials referred to a simple brochure available on their website, suggesting that inspectors can refer to that for guidance. They also pointed to a series of upcoming stakeholder meetings where CRT issues will be “discussed”.
It is time to stop talking and take action.
Stockpiling CRT glass is against the law. By enacting the CRT Rule, the EPA removed CRTs from hazardous waste regulations and created a new ‘regulation’ that, without enforcement, is nothing more than a loophole.
Stockpiling is harming an industry that just began to improve its image with new certification programs that have now been seriously compromised. It’s putting customers at great risk of paying for recycling not once, but many times over when clean up costs come home to roost.
It’s time to turn up the volume. Whether you are a responsible recycler suffering the consequences of disingenuous competitors or a customer facing unavoidable risk, the message to the EPA is simple and the necessary action is very clear: Enforce the CRT Rule.
If you are aware of illegal e-recycling practices, you may e-mail information to USEPA Enforcement Director Mr. KC Schefski at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to remain anonymous to the EPA, TransparentPlanet will send the information on your behalf: info@TransparentPlanetLLC.com.