This week a Kentucky news channel unearthed a CRT dumping ground near a processing facility owned by processor Global Environmental Services. The company, which also recently lost or withdrew from its environmental certifications, has since admitted to the wrongdoing.
According to a report published Wednesday by Lexington, Ky. NBC affiliate LEX 18, GES met with state investigators this week and took responsibility for the dump, located approximately 100 yards from the Georgetown, Ky. facility of Global Environmental Services (GES).
According to a state environmental official quoted in the LEX 18 story, GES managers said they were not aware company personnel had been dumping material until the investigation: “They don’t know who placed the material there, but they do know it was their company and they suspect it is out of their company out of Cynthiana that brought the material here,” Jon Maybriar of the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection is quoted as saying.
GES operates a separate CRT processing facility in nearby Cynthiana, Ky.
Chuck Landreville, vice president of strategic partners at GES, said in a statement provided to E-Scrap News the company found out about the developing situation on Monday.
“We’re shocked, stunned and this is absolutely outside of character for any of the business we do,” Landreville stated. “We are working with the state to investigate and we’ve engaged a company to remediate and determine what’s there and what’s the best course of action. We’re in the middle of it and we’re going to get it fixed.”
As of press time, Landreville had not returned a request for a phone interview.
An initial report from LEX 18 described the scene vividly.
“Hundreds of wooden pallets and dozens of cardboard boxes filled with television monitors are without question being dumped into a hole,” LEX 18 reported on Monday. The station has also reported the hole was roughly 10 feet deep and at least 30 feet in diameter.
Photos obtained by LEX 18 appeared to show a rental truck dumping CRTs into the ground and a subsequent report from Georgetown-based News-Graphic discovered a bulldozer leased to GES’s Kentucky operations manager, Dewayne Davis, on the grounds of the dump.
GES, which operates in Kentucky, Ohio and Texas, recently won a contract to handle end-of-life electronics generated by branches of the Kentucky state government. The contract also encourages towns and cities to hire GES for recycling services.
Landreville told LEX18 he hopes the company can hold onto that state contract.
Additionally, the company withdrew from the e-Stewards certification earlier this month and has been suspended from R2 certification program.
On Oct. 1, GES informed auditor Orion it intended to withdraw from e-Stewards certification. Jim Puckett, the founder of the e-Stewards certification, said the withdrawal “followed closely on audits conducted in the last month.”
A press release was issued by e-Stewards following the company’s admission to the dumping. While saying GES made “inexcusable choices,” e-Stewards noted materials mismanagement is closely tied to the fact that “the e-recycling industry is no longer being adequately paid by customers, including manufacturers involved in state-legislated producer responsibility schemes, to manage their toxic electronics and private data in a responsible manner.”
John Lingelbach, the executive director of SERI, the administer of the R2 certification, told E-Scrap News Orion has suspended GES’ R2 certification in the wake of the dumping allegations.
According to Lingelbach, an audit of the company’s Georgetown site conducted on Oct.1-2 did unearth non-conformities “but none that had to do with burying CRTs.”
SERI also released a press release on the matter, stating the “egregious nature” of the GES dump compelled Orion to suspend R2 certification of the company for the foreseeable future.
Paul Burck, the president of Orion, confirmed both the e-Stewards withdrawal and the suspension of GES’s R2 certification.
According to Burck, GES’s Georgetown facility, along with the nearby CRT processing location in Cynthiana, were issued several non-conformities after Orion audits earlier in the month but “none related to dumping.”
Burck did note auditors had “concerns about the processing of CRTs” at the company’s Cynthiana site. The site, which is not certified to e-Stewards or R2, Burck said, had been aiming to come into compliance with the standards at the time of the audits.