A year after beginning an operation to use treated CRT glass as alternative daily cover at a landfill in Illinois, Kuusakoski US says it is phasing out that approach in favor of a different strategy: storing CRT glass in a mineable cell.
Kuusakoski’s decision comes after its alternative daily cover (ADC) operation in Peoria, Illinois was largely resisted by state electronics recycling programs as well as officials in charge of the e-Stewards and R2 e-scrap environmental certifications.
“We went after the ADC approach because we saw it as beneficial use,” Kuusakoski US CEO Rich Hipp told E-Scrap News. “But the recycling community didn’t see it as such.”
Kuusakoski US is a division of Finland-based Kuusakoski Recycling.
The company’s ADC operation concluded 2014 receiving glass from just one state electronics recycling program: Illinois. The regulators in charge of a number of other state programs made determinations that the ADC option did not constitute recycling, and, therefore, collected pounds headed to ADC could not be counted toward manufacturer collection quotas.
In 2014, Kussakoski’s ADC operation reached just 25 percent of its 50,000-ton annual capacity.
The company is hopeful the industry will support the storage cell notion. Instead of spreading treated CRT glass as ADC, Kuusakoski is planning on storing treated glass in a “mineable” cell, also on the premises of a landfill, for future recovery. The company says the operation has a 100,000-ton annual capacity.
Hipp made it clear the company is committed to its second attempt at entering the U.S. CRT glass processing sector.
As long as the company receives approval at the state level and/or approval from e-Stewards, Hipp said “our plan is to move immediately to the retrievable storage cell.”
A number of questions surround the storage idea. The strategy is predicated on the notion that at some point in the future a market will emerge for leaded CRT glass. At that point, Kuusakoski would be able to move the glass at no cost, or even get paid for the material, Hipp suggested.
It remains unclear how or when such a glass market could present itself.
The company has filed a formal petition to the BAN board of directors, hoping that a policy will be developed that would deem storage recycling and allow e-Stewards certified firms to move the glass to Kuusakoski. Hipp indicated his company would likely make similar overtures to Sustainable Electronics Recycling International, which administers the R2 standard.
For much more on the Kuusakoski development, look to the story “Downstream Decisions,” in the March 2015 print edition of E-Scrap News magazine.