E-scrap firms processed slightly more CRT glass from Washington state in 2014 than they did the year before, according to a report.
Processors handled 10,666 tons of CRT glass in 2014, up 1.3 percent from the CRT weight processed in 2013, according to the annual report by the Washington Materials Management and Financing Authority (WMMFA), the electronics manufacturer-funded group coordinating collections and recycling under Washington’s E-Cycle program.
The year-over-year CRT tonnages in Washington and other states are being closely watched within the industry as observers try to determine when collection programs will reach the tipping point at which CRT take-back numbers start to fall. Such decreases would be an indication those programs may be close to finishing handling the backlog of CRT material that has accumulated in homes and businesses over the past several decades.
Overall, about 22,181 tons of e-scrap were recycled through E-Cycle in 2014, down almost 2 percent from the year before. Numbers previously released by the Washington Department of Ecology, which oversees the e-scrap program, showed the collected weight of TVs continues to increase, while monitors and computers continue to decrease.
In 2014, seven e-scrap recycling firms managed material from Washington, and the report indicates much of the leaded glass they received moved through Mexico en route to India, where it’s recycled into new CRTs.
More than 98 percent of the material received by the processors was recycled in 2014, and only about 1.5 percent — mostly wood from TV cabinets — went to landfill, according to the report. The weight of wood sent to landfill increased nearly 20 percent over the year before.
At the same time, the weight of wood recycled increased about 4 percent.
In 2014, roughly 550 tons of electronics were resold and reused, the vast majority of which were resold by the collectors and were never sent to e-scrap processors, according to WMMFA. That estimate is a rough estimate based on both objective and subjective information received from collectors. Nonprofit collectors, in particular, tend to focus on resale and see recycling as a secondary option, according to the report.