Photo illustration by Tori Maier-Mahaffy with photos from EnSafe and Resource Recycling, Inc.

Over several years, Closed Loop Refining and Recovery was paid to take hundreds of millions of pounds of cathode-ray tube (CRT) materials at sites in Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio. In 2016, the company collapsed, leaving behind massive, contaminated sites that others have had to pay to clean up.

The aftermath provides a cautionary tale for the electronics recycling industry: Be careful where you ship your toxic residuals because the decisions could haunt you for a long time. Years after Closed Loop failed, nearly 100 electronics recycling companies, OEMs and others have been sued over shipments of CRT materials, resulting in settlements totaling millions of dollars.

The cleanups themselves have stretched on for seven years, with most of the leaded glass ultimately ending up in landfills.

E-Scrap News has published dozens of stories keeping readers updated on the most consequential CRT abandonment case in U.S. history. Below, you can find all of our reporting in a convenient timeline format.

Click a timeline box to be taken to the full story on that item.

Click here to jump to the latest Closed Loop news, at the bottom of the timeline.


OCTOBER 2010 | Closed Loop eyes CRT expansion

ARIZONA: Closed Loop expands its Phoenix facility and announces plans to install lead-extraction technology in Phoenix and open second and third facilities elsewhere in the country.

NOVEMBER 2014 | Company receives notice of violation in Arizona

ARIZONA/OHIO: Now with facilities in Phoenix and Columbus, Closed Loop receives a notice of violation from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

FEBRUARY 2016 | Auditor voices concerns

ARIZONA/OHIO: Closed Loop loses R2 certification for its sites, with an auditor saying nonconformances were found during audits.

Inside Closed Loop's 1675 Watkins facility.

APRIL 2016 | Closed Loop nears collapse

ARIZONA/OHIO: Falling behind in rent in both states, Closed Loop faces one landlord lawsuit and receives a notice of violation from the Ohio EPA.

JUNE 2016 | From promises to piles

ARIZONA/OHIO: After Closed Loop fails, E-Scrap News takes a comprehensive look at how much material the company may have accumulated and possible next steps.

Piles of crushed CRT glass at CLRR Phoenix site.

DECEMBER 2016 | Questions linger about cleanup in Arizona

ARIZONA: ADEQ talks with property owners about cleanup options, and it consults with officials in California, where much of the material originated.

MARCH 2017 | Closed Loop loses case in Ohio

OHIO: A state court judge rules in favor of landlord Garrison Southfield Park in a lawsuit against Closed Loop.

AUGUST 2017 | Company execs ordered to pay millions in Ohio

OHIO: The judge order Closed Loop’s executives, David Cauchi, Brent Benham and Brian LaPoint, to pay over $18 million to Garrison Southfield Park. The money never materializes.

SEPTEMBER 2017 | Federal suit targets Closed Loop and suppliers

OHIO: Landlords file a lawsuit in federal court against Closed Loop and two suppliers of CRTs.

SEPTEMBER 2017 | One OEM’s role in sending material to Closed Loop

OHIO: E-Scrap News reports that there was some level of past OEM preference for sending material to Closed Loop.

JULY 2018 | New details emerge on stockpiles

ARIZONA: ADEQ releases records providing a new – and significantly higher – estimate of material in storage.

MARCH 2019 | Lawsuits take aim at dozens of suppliers

OHIO: Warehouse owners sue over 40 companies that had shipped CRT materials to Closed Loop in Columbus.

Closeup of a court gavel.

APRIL 2019 | Processors named in Ohio case defend their actions

OHIO: In statements to E-Scrap News, a handful of e-scrap companies defended their past shipments to Closed Loop. Among other arguments, they noted the company had been audited and certified, and they insisted OEMs and the warehouse owners shared responsibility for the situation.

JULY 2019 | Several e-scrap firms pay out in lawsuit

OHIO: A dozen defendants, all relatively small suppliers, agree to settlements.

SEPTEMBER 2019 | CRT suppliers in the crosshairs

OHIO: An E-Scrap News print magazine piece recaps the recent legal developments.

OCTOBER 2019 | Stakeholders talk cleanup cost liability

OHIO: Key figures in the lawsuit speak on-stage at the 2019 E-Scrap Conference.

DECEMBER 2019 | UNICOR agrees to settlement

OHIO: Defendant Federal Prison Industries (dba UNICOR) agrees to settle.

JANUARY 2020 | Three more suppliers settle

OHIO: Three more defendants, including a public agency and a nonprofit group, reach a settlement.

MARCH 2020 | Opinion: In CRT mess, let’s protect the good guys

OHIO: A consultant working for a defendant writes in E-Scrap News arguing that CRT suppliers that conducted due diligence and acted responsibly should be protected legally.

APRIL 2020 | Processor signs major settlement

OHIO: Defendant eCycleSecure agreed to a $903,000 settlement.

MAY 2020 | Details emerge on scope of Ohio cleanup

OHIO: Published documents detail the scope of the Columbus stockpiles in warehouses owned by Garrison Southfield Park, as well as the cleanup strategy and costs.

JULY 2020 | Abandoned material seems destined for disposal

OHIO: Additional published document detail the stockpiles and cleanup costs for the Columbus warehouse owned by Olymbec USA.

AUGUST 2020 | Court approves settlements

OHIO: The judge approves nine settlements that had earlier been reached in the Ohio case.

AUGUST 2020 | Ohio landlords sue OEMs

OHIO: For the first time, Ohio landlords sue OEMS and an OEM representative.

Sony sign on building exterior.

SEPTEMBER 2020 | CompuPoint agrees to recycle CRTs to settle lawsuit

OHIO: A supplier agrees to provide in-kind CRT recycling services in Ohio, instead of a cash payment, to end its involvement in the case.

OCTOBER 2020 | Closing in on a cleanup

OHIO: An E-Scrap News print magazine piece explores the cleanup projects.

NOVEMBER 2020 | Major OEM settles

OHIO: Sony Electronics agrees to a $1.2 million settlement.

JANUARY 2021 | Largest supplier agrees to pay $6 million

OHIO: Kuusakoski reached a $6 million settlement.

JULY 2021 | Cleanup progressing at sites in Phoenix

ARIZONA: E-Scrap News examines progress at the Phoenix cleanup projects, where a warehouse at 27th Avenue was cleaned up but work remains at a separate 59th Avenue facility.

JULY 2021 | Processor and OEM agree to settle

OHIO: A processor and OEM reach a joint $850,000 settlement.

OCTOBER 2021 | Judge: Sony may have more CRT responsibility in Ohio

OHIO: Hearing objections from other defendants, a judge rejects Sony’s settlement.

JANUARY 2022 | Kuusakoski’s $6 million deal approved

OHIO: The judge approves Kuusakoski’s $6 million settlement, and two of the three warehouses are cleaned up.

Inside the cleaned facility at 2200 Fairwood Ave.

JUNE 2022 | Four settlements approved

OHIO: The judge approves settlements from two electronics brand owners and two e-scrap processors.

JULY 2022 | Defendants agree to pay $550,000

OHIO: Two more defendants reach legal settlements.

SEPTEMBER 2022 | OEMs, others agree to tentative settlements

OHIO: Parties in the case tell the judge they’ve reached at least tentative settlements with nearly all the defendants.

OCTOBER 2022 | OEM, processor agree to settle

OHIO: Sony and a processor reach a joint $2.4 million settlement.

OCTOBER 2022 | Dell, IMS and GEEP USA reach settlements

OHIO: Three more defendants reach settlements totaling $1.62 million.

NOVEMBER 2022 | Landlords drop suit against MRM and OEMs

OHIO: A deal is reached to have Kuusakoski pay another $1 million and plaintiffs drop their case against two OEMs and an brand owner representative.

Exterior of Samsung office building.

NOVEMBER 2022 | Suit targets suppliers in Arizona

ARIZONA: Landlords file a federal lawsuit against 49 suppliers of CRT materials to Closed Loop. Two agree to settle. The complaint makes similar arguments to the Ohio lawsuit.

JANUARY 2023 | Ohio case winds down, cleanups complete

OHIO: Crews complete an $11.2 million cleanup, Garrison Southfield Park sells a warehouse for $9.6 million, landlords determine they’ll be on the hook for well over $1 million in costs, and a final legal settlement is reached in Ohio.

JUNE 2024 | Processors continue to settle in Arizona

ARIZONA: Companies that sent CRT materials to the Arizona sites have paid a combined total of $10.8 million to date. Nearly two dozen processors have yet to respond to the lawsuit, however.