CRT glass landfill use proposed

CRT glass landfill use proposed

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

A Finnish recycling firm and an Illinois waste management company have linked up to provide a new market for collected CRTs. The announcement was made at the 11th annual E-Scrap Conference, held this week in Orlando.

Kuusakoski USA LLC is building a processing facility in Peoria, Illinois where CRTs and clean tubes will be processed. The plant will cost several million dollars and is expected to open in November, says Hannu Melarti, president of the firm. Approximately 50,000 tons per year of funnel glass from the Kuusakoski operation will be transferred to the nearby hazardous waste treatment plant operated by Peoria Disposal. PDC will use a reagent to treat the processed glass and then apply the glass as alternative daily landfill cover at a company-owned municipal solid waste landfill. The stabilized lead glass – labeled KleanKover Recycling Solutions -- replaces virgin soil for cover. This large-scale CRT glass option is expected to relieve market pressure in terms of the growing stockpiles of CRTs and CRT glass in North America. The new system would be among the three largest markets for CRT glass in North America.

A key merit of the new market option is its low cost. Kuusakoski estimates the fees it will charge will be about 40 percent lower than those charged by glass-to-glass and lead smelting companies.

This new use, however, produced some concern by several attendees at the conference. Several state officials and executives at original equipment manufacturers which fund CRT recycling systems expressed concern about this new option being labeled a "glass recycling" option under existing state electronics collection programs. "I need to go back and see if this alternative qualifies as recycling under our state law and regulations," said the manager of a state program in the Midwest.

A similar comment was received from a sustainability manager at a consumer electronics maker. Kuusakoski officials are aware of these concerns. "We will be going to the states to educate them about this process," said Melarti. He stressed that "we have found a big-volume, high-capacity technology that is already in existence and we will offer it at the lowest possible cost." He notes that Kuusakoski has been in the waste and recycling business for a century. "For us, doing nothing is not an option. Our firm has been hating waste for 100 years."

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