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U.S. DOT ruling: Maine can define hazardous waste
Maine has been given the right to define CRT glass as hazardous waste by the U.S. Department of Transportation in a preemption ruling issued Thursday. The DOT ruling (available here), while preserving the standard that federal regulations defining the handling of hazardous waste mandate state actions, allows for states to regulate substances that are not federally designated as hazardous.

According to a 2007 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation, CRTs are not designated as hazardous waste if being transported for recycling. Maine's Department of Environmental Protection subsequently ruled that ground or broken CRT glass must be transported by a documented hazardous waste carrier, among other requirements meant to ensure safe transport of the material.

The ruling was in response to a May 2008 petition by the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) trade group, which sought to change the state's hazardous and universal waste rules and could have ultimately prevented any state from fully regulating anything as either a "hazardous" or "universal" waste if the EPA had not done the same.

The EIA claimed that Maine's e-scrap law interferes with transportation regulations for CRTs — whole or crushed — and that the law is not substantially the same as the existing Hazardous Materials Regulation, thus invalidating it, and would preempt all state-only hazardous or universal waste.


EPA orders firm to handle illegally exported CRTs
Continuing its recent run of more active enforcement of its 2007 CRT rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week ordered a company to submit a management plan for the 16 tons of CRTs it illegally exported to Hong Kong. Monterey Park, California-based ZKW Trading now has 30 days to remove its cargo and 45 days to submit a plan to the EPA addressing how it will handle — through re-use, recycling or disposal — the 31,993 pounds of CRTs, or face fines of up to $37,500 per day for noncompliance.

In June 2009, ZKW reportedly sent 38 pallets of CRTs to Hong Kong, listing the cargo as plastic scrap. The shipment of CRTs was turned back by Hong Kong authorities in July.


EPA Orders Company to Submit Plan to Remove CRTs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered ZKW Trading, a Monterey Park, Calif. company, to submit a management plan for about 31,993 pounds of cathode ray tubes that were illegally shipped to, and later returned from, Hong Kong -- a violation of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.


Yuma processor cited for CRT glass mishandling
The Dlubak Glass Co. was cited recently by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) for the improper handling and storage of glass from CRTs, which the company is working to mitigate. The ADEQ issued a notice of five violations against Dlubak Glass after a hazardous waste inspection in April reportedly uncovered broken CRT glass stacked in large piles on facility grounds.

The notice cites five violations, including poor storage of CRTs in various states of process, incorrect labeling, processing without a structure, failure to make a waste determination and disposal of hazardous waste without a permit. According to the notice, Dlubak Glass is working to fix the issues in the report.

"Dlubak appears to be making good progress toward resolving many of the counts in the Notice of Violation, but we won’t know about everything involved until we analyze the site assessment plan," says ADEQ Director of Communications, Mark Shaffer.

Of particular interest to glass customer, Dlubak Glass will no longer be washing processed CRT glass at the Yuma facility, instead sending material to Technologies Displays Mexicana, a Videocon subsidiary in Mexicali, Mexico.

The notice of violation is available here and a copy of the inspection done in April is available here.

For safe and proper processing of CRTs and Monitors, visit www.CaliResources.com


SAMR hit with $199,000 EPA fine
Supreme Asset Management and Recovery has been fined $199,900 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the illegal export of non-working CRT monitors to Hong Kong in both 2007 and 2008, as well as "for failing to promptly respond to EPA's requests for information," according to the agency. SAMR had been the focus of a raid by the EPA and multiple law-enforcement agencies last October.

SAMR received the EPA fine under the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, which forbids the export of certain CRTs unless the exporters notify, and receive, consent from the agency.

"This case demonstrates that the illegal export of electronic waste will be punished to the fullest extent of the law," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou.

The fine will become final, unless SAMR requests a hearing on the matter within 30 days, which the company has reportedly done.

This raises the question, "Is there really any responsible recycler for CRT and Monitors that can truly reuse the glass?" With only one true CRT and Monitor glass recycling facility in North America, the choice is clear, www.CaliResources.com


Best Practices for a Green IT Business
Premier IT Channel Event in North America Features Best Practices for Green IT Business

A powerful lineup of industry experts address recycling, data wiping, electronic waste, state regulations, and best practices for the IT community at the CompTIA Breakaway 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas, Nevada, August 2, 2009 – GREEN IT represents unprecedented opportunity to create new sources of revenue in all aspects of the product lifecycle and is necessary under newly introduced legislation. DeAnne Toto, Managing Editor for the Recycling Today Media Group, will review the economic conditions impacted by fluctuations in Metals and Commodities. Mike Wendy, Director of Public Affairs at CompTIA, will provide relevant information on current state legislation and the patchwork quilt of changing regulations. Carlos Kelvin, a fifteen year recycling industry veteran and president of Cali Resources, provides the important viewpoint of recycler activities and what to look for in a partner. Tim Hebert, Vice President of Research at CompTIA, will unveil the results of two Green IT surveys conducted by CompTIA. John Mehrmann, Vice President of Business Development at ZSL Inc, will review results of Green IT initiatives to date, a roadmap for the future, and opportunities. ZSL Inc has developed software for Recyclers, Collectors, and Material Handlers to accurately identify and track source, processing, and destination of products, parts, and materials.

Watch the Full Video of the presentations in Part 1
Part 1 - Video, 60:00

Watch the Summary Wrap up in Part 2
Part 2 - Video 30:00

Oregon E-Cycles numbers keep pace
Oregon's state-mandated manufacturer responsibility electronics recycling program, Oregon E-Cycles, announced its most recent collection numbers, taking in 9.54 million pounds of TVs, computers, and monitors for recycling during the first six months of 2009, of which 56 percent were TVs, 33 percent monitors and the remaining 11 percent were computers. "The proportion of waste was consistent with the first quarter — the predicted tsunami of analog TVs from the digital changeover has not hit the Oregon shoreline," according to the press release sent by the program.

The amounts collected remained steady, with a slight uptick in collection from the first and second quarters at 4.73 and 4.81 million pounds, respectively. A total of 13,910 units have been diverted for reuse.


CIWMB finds e-cycler fraudulently asking for payment
At its most recent regular meeting, the California Integrated Waste Management Board upheld the revocation of the Electronic Recycling Center (ERC) of Pomona's approved recycler status due to false collection logs submitted by the company. ERC had appealed its April 17th approval revocation, which had found that the company had "knowingly used collection logs with false source entries to fraudulently request recovery and recycling payments," according to the CIWMB.

"Today's proposed decision does not specify who originally established the false collection logs, but it does correctly hold ERC responsible for attempting to seek payment by using them," Program Manager Jeff Hunts said in a prepared comment at the board meeting. "Approved participants in the covered electronic waste recycling system who fail to exercise heightened vigilance with handlers, and then submit false source documentation for handler-collected e-waste, expose themselves not only to significant operating losses from payment denials, but also from stronger enforcement action such as this, where the Board can shut down their eligibility to claim revenue from the State."

ERC had exercised its right to appeal the decision before a hearing officer, which recommended upholding the revocation, and the board agreeing after consideration


EPA nabs two more CRT Rule offenders
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that both W and E International Trading Co. and SM Metals illegally exported over 500 cathode-ray tube computer monitors to Hong Kong, in violation of the EPA's CRT Rule.

A shipping container holding the CRTs was discovered in April by the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department, which returned it to the Port of Tacoma (Washington) and notified the EPA of its action in May.

Texas-based W and E International Trading Co. and SM Metals, out of Lakewood, Washington, have both been ordered by the EPA to submit a detailed inventory of the items, and to develop a plan for management and disposal of the electronic waste.

Looking for a safe and responsible way to recycle CRTs and Monitors? Visit www.CaliResources.com


Hammer falls on CRT export scam
Embattled electronics processor EarthEcycle has allegedly exported two 40-foot containers of electronic waste to South Africa, as noted in a complaint filed on July 2nd by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to the complaint, 2,016 non-working, broken and improperly stacked CRT displays were reportedly discovered by South African customs officials, when monitors positioned next to the doors were not packed properly and fell out upon the containers being opened for inspection. The EPA complaint is in addition to allegations that EarthEcycle illegally exported hazardous material to Hong Kong.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company originally came under fire after an investigation by the Basel Action Network, following a collection event the company held for a Pennsylvania branch of the Humane Society. The company has partnerships with six charitable organizations to recycle electronics and donate proceeds from the collection events; however, the status of those partnerships has been thrown into question as evidence of illegal activity mounts.

EarthEcycle had until July 22nd to request a hearing on the complaint or contest the allegations, though the EPA did not release whether or not the company chose to do so. Additionally, the EPA has ordered the company to arrange for the return of the collected material so it can be processed responsibly. EarthEcycle will be fined $37,500 for each day it fails to comply.

CRT Recycling Scams often involve collectors and companies that claim to recycle CRTs and Monitors which are actually stored in warehouses, landfills, or illegally shipped overseas. Fortunately, there is one true CRT recycler in North America. Cali Resources is the only facility in North America to recycle CRTs and Monitors for reuse. www.CaliResources.com


Panasonic shoots lasers for TV recycling
Tokyo-based electronics giant Panasonic is using lasers as a novel method to separate the front plate from the funnel of CRTs for processing. Typically, a hot wire is used to melt the seam between the two pieces of a CRT tube, which can be a slow process — Panasonic says that it could process 24 CRTs per hour using a hot wire. Using the laser process the company developed, it can process 72 tubes hourly. The new system has the laser run across all four sides as the CRT is rotated, creating a stress crack. Using a chisel, the tube is then split by a sharp hit to the crack. The system can handle CRTs with diagonal screen sizes between 14 and 36 inches, greater than the hot wire method, and the cut is cleaner, says Panasonic. The new processing method was developed by Panasonic Corp. and Panasonic Eco Technology Co., Ltd., which is based in Kato, Japan


CEA calls on TV owners to dispose of old sets properly
The CEA is urging owners of now-outdated analog TV sets to dispose of them properly. To help in that regard, CEA directed people to a Web site containing take-back and recycling programs offered by a host of manufacturers and retailers. Dealerscope (6/19) , TWICE (6/18)


Goodwill and Dell add seven states to take-back program
Goodwill Industries International and Dell, Inc. announced the expansion of their Reconnect free e-scrap drop-off program to seven new states. With the addition of 451 donation sites from seven statewide programs in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and West Virginia — as well as recent expansions in Wisconsin — Reconnect now includes more than 1,400 Goodwill sites around the country.
"Our partnership with Goodwill makes recycling incredibly convenient for consumers," says Mike Watson, senior manager of Dell Global Recycling Services. "We believe it should be as easy to recycle a computer as it is to purchase one."
The Reconnect program is now available in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
Last month, Dell announced a formal ban on the export of e-scrap generated by its operations, which also is in effect for any equipment collected under the Reconnect partnership.

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