The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery recommended increasing the payment for recovery and processing payments for CRTs but keeping the non-CRT payments at the current rate. | Donald Walker/Shutterstock

E-scrap processors who participate in California’s state program could again receive a boost in some payments in the coming year. 

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, or CalRecycle, recently shared its proposed payment rates for processors who participate in the state e-scrap program. The department adjusts the amounts paid to recyclers to cover the average net costs of collecting and recycling covered products every year. 

This year, CalRecycle again recommended increasing the payment for recovery, which is collection and transportation for all covered e-scrap, from 35 to 40 cents per pound, and increasing processing payments for CRTs from 63 to 73 cents per pound. The department recommended leaving the non-CRT payments at the current rate of 75 cents per pound.

The proposed rates were presented at CalRecycle’s monthly public meeting April 16 and will be filed with the Office of Administrative Law on or before April 29. If approved, the new rates will go into effect July 1. 

California’s Covered Electronic Waste Recycling Program is the oldest regulated statewide e-scrap recycling program in the country. Consumers pay point-of-sale fees for electronics with screens, and the state then metes out that money to e-scrap companies that are part of the program when they properly collect and recycle covered electronics. 

The program covers CRT TVs and monitors, LCD TVs and laptops, plasma TVs (excluding plasma projection TVs), LCD smart displays and devices, LCD tablets, portable DVD players and OLED display devices.

The new rates take into consideration data CalRecycle gathered from 281 collectors and 19 recyclers. According to those reports, the average cost for recovery in 2023 was about 36 cents. Small collectors/recyclers reported an average cost of 32 cents, while large recyclers and collectors reported an average of 40 cents. 

For CRT recycling, the average cost was 51 cents, with small operations reporting costs of 59 cents and large recyclers reporting a cost of 43 cents. 

Finally, for non-CRT material, the average cost was 53 cents, with small operations averaging 60 cents and large ones 46 cents. 

Breaking down the recycling costs per category, CRT recyclers’ costs were about 33% on labor, 18% on residual management, 13% on the cost to purchase material, 12% on transportation and 24% on overhead. 

On the non-CRT side, costs broke out to 46% labor, 5% residual management, 16% for the cost to purchase material, 8% transportation and 25% overhead. 

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