An industry group has criticized a recently signed bill modifying the e-scrap law in Illinois, saying the state failed to account for existing recycling outlets for CRT glass.
In a letter sent to the Illinois EPA on July 20, a group consisting of 13 electronics recycling companies, including some of the industry’s most prominent, argues House Bill 1455 assumes “CRT glass is not recyclable.”
Information from regional glass processors shows “this is not the case,” the group said.
The following companies signed onto the letter: AVA Recycling, Cascade Asset Management, CJD E-Cycling, Com2 Recycling Solutions, Comprenew, ECS Refining, Electronic Recyclers International, E-Scrap Technologies, Genesis Electronics Recycling, Global Environmental Services, Novotec, Sims Recycling Solutions and Supply-Chain Services.
The bill in question was signed into law by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on July 10. In addition to increasing manufacturer recycling obligations under the state program, HB 1455 explicitly allows recycling companies in Illinois to “place glass in a retrievable storage cell, in a manner that allows it to be retrieved in the future, at a e-waste disposal site.”
The bill had been framed by its supporters as a way to help alleviate the challenges local communities face in handling and recycling old CRT devices.
The storage approach, which is now being offered by Kuusakoski Recycling at a Peoria, Ill. landfill, is approved by the Illinois EPA. The letter from processors does not specifically mention the retrievable storage concept. However, it states that “allowing a landfilling provision under the guise of recycling deceives the citizens of Illinois and dishonors their best intentions to recycle.”
According to the group, CRT glass recycling outlets exist in Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky and have the annual capacity to recover more than 90,000 tons per year of the material. The letter points out the Illinois’ e-scrap program in 2014 generated 10,325 tons of it in 2014.
“Illinois has one the best recycling markets in the U.S.,” the letter states.
Illinois EPA spokesperson Kim Biggs this week told E-Scrap News HB 1455 was created as a stopgap.
“In late 2014, stakeholders expressed several concerns regarding the current issues facing the electronic recycling program,” Biggs stated. “As a result of those concerns and others, HB 1455 was created to address these problems as a short-term solution.”
Biggs added a long-term strategy will “hopefully” emerge as a result of planned discussions with stakeholders later this year. The goal would be to produce a report spelling out “any necessary modifications” sent to Gov. Rauner in early 2016.
The group behind this week’s letter says it will make its viewpoints heard during a July 29 public hearing regarding the state program.