E-scrap processors snared in Illinois Superfund site cleanup

E-scrap processors snared in Illinois Superfund site cleanup

By Jerry Powell, E-Scrap News

Feb. 28, 2014

Federal environmental officials have told executives at about 475 corporations and local governments they will need to help fund work designed to clean up the Chemetco Superfund site in southern Illinois. The list of firms is a who’s who of the U.S. non-ferrous processing and waste management industries, and it includes a number of prominent e-scrap recycling companies.

Chemetco operated a secondary copper smelter on a 41-acre site near Hartford, Illinois for 31 years. In 1996, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency spotted a partially hidden 10-inch pipe during an inspection and found that the pipe illegally discharged zinc oxide to a drainage ditch outside of the site.

The company eventually shut down in 2001 and filed for Chapter 7 federal bankruptcy court protection. After classifying the facility and land as a Superfund site, the U.S. EPA, as required by law, sought financial support for cleanup actions from the firms that had supplied scrap metal to the smelter. EPA is now forcing about 475 suppliers to pay for a remedial investigation study, though those suppliers have not been formally accused of knowingly partnering with a polluting company.

Among the affected parties are many scrap electronics processors, including Beacon Management, Computer Asset Management, Computer Scraper, Creative Recycling Systems, Dlubak Glass, Eagle Electronics & Metals Recycling, Global Electronic Recycling, Great Lakes Electronic Recycling, Hi-Tech Recycling, Interco Trading, Intercon Solutions, Midwest Computer Brokers, MRP Co., Wesbell Asset Recovery and Westech Recyclers.

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