In a sign of the increasingly tight CRT market, regulators in California have moved to increase the payments issued to firms that collect and/or process lower value electronics to help them fully cover recycling costs.

Jeff Hunts, branch manager of the e-waste program at California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), issued a Request for Approval last week to boost the collection payment for materials in the covered electronic waste (CEW) category from 16 cents per pound to 18 cents per pound. The document also recommends increasing the combined recovery and recycling payment from 39 cents per pound to 44 cents per pound.

The recommendation now needs final approval from Carroll Mortensen, CalRecycle’s program director, and that action could come as soon as this week. CalRecycle will then make a filing with California’s Office of Administrative Law to enact the rate changes, which would take effect on or after July 1.

The CEW category includes CRT-containing devices, LCD TVs and monitors, LCD laptops, gas plasma display TVs, and personal DVD players.

Under California’s electronics recycling law, CalRecycle is charged with assessing the state’s CEW payment rates every two years. Since the payment system was implemented in 2005, regulators have only once made changes to the rate. That action came in 2008, when officials dropped the combined rate by 9 cents per pound. The state draws payment amounts from a fund that is fed by recycling fees paid by consumers when they purchase new devices.

To determine whether increases in CEW payment rates are warranted, CalRecycle each year requires collectors and recycling entities to submit reports that show revenues and costs associated with CEW management during the previous year, and a number of those reports are audited.

“CEW claim data suggest that approximately 98 percent of claims by weight were for CRT devices,” CalRecycle reported in a background document accompanying the payment increase request.