CRT startup wants to focus on one community at a time
By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News
April 24, 2014
As the industry keeps churning out new strategies to handle and process CRTs, one Florida company is taking a city-specific approach while hoping to leverage crowdfunding.
Jacksonville-based eCycle Security has one primary goal, at least for now: make Jacksonville "CRT free." To reach that aim, the firm has launched an IndieGogo campaign to raise $75,000 to help build its $200,000 patent-pending CRT processing machine.
"The only way we can get this done is through the community," eCycle Security's founder, Juan Carlos Villatoro, told E-Scrap News. "As we've seen, we left it to the government and producers of electronics and they're just dodging the issue."
At press time, 23 funders had donated a total of $1,992 to Villatoro's cause. The campaign will go on until May 22.
While withholding technical details of the process, Villatoro said the technology he's developing brings the leaded glass portion of CRTs through a leaching process to separate – or leach – the lead from the glass. The end-goal is much the same as a traditional lead smelter, but relies on relatively low operating temperatures, Villatoro added.
According to Villatoro, there are upwards of 5,000 tons of CRT devices in the Jacksonville area that will need processing within the next several years and eCycle Security would stand to join Recovered Energy as the only final recovery options for CRT glass in Florida.
The company plans to partner with the city of Jacksonville and ask for a tipping fee north of 20 cents per pound to demanufacture, separate and process devices all in one system.
To offset lower margins from the CRT operation, eCycle Security will continue processing a wide range of electronics at its 6,000-square-foot facility. "It's the only way for us to balance this venture," Villatoro said.
One advantage of the technology is its apparent mobility and cost-effective reproducibility. The company's leader says the model could be used elsewhere, either by transporting the machine to another city or by building a new one.