Update on CRT Glass
CRT glass continues to be a pressing issue for e-cyclers in 2015. As old CRT displays are replaced by newer LCD and plasma displays, e-cyclers are faced with a growing pile of lead-treated glass. The question of how to handle this increasing stockpile is a difficult one, and real solutions still appear to be mostly in the future. Here’s a quick update on CRT glass in the news:
What’s in a name?
When CRT glass is used as alternative daily cover on a landfill, has it been recycled, or simply disposed of? According to the U.S. EPA, that’s a good question — one they want no part of answering.
Like everything that involves CRT glass, it’s a thorny issue. On one hand, with so few viable uses for recycled CRT glass, and so much expense involved in removing lead and toxics from the glass, turning it into landfill cover looks like one of the few practical options. On the other hand, CRT glass that’s used as alternative daily cover really hasn’t been recycled at all, but simply used to weigh down the top layer of a landfill to guard it from wind and rain.
Administrators of the R2 standards have banned the practice of turning CRT glass into ADC, while e-Stewards have accepted it only as a last resort. Neither group considers this to be recycling. In the past, the EPA also considered ADC as a means of CRT glass disposal. Now, though, they’ve backed away from that assessment, leaving it instead up to individual states to determine whether they want to call this recycling or not.
So what’s in a name? Only your ethics as a responsible e-cycler.
The last manufacturer standing
While the debate over responsible recycling of CRT glass continues, there is still one company — the very last one on the globe — using recycled CRT glass to manufacture video displays. Called Videocon, the company maintains a glass-to-glass manufacturing plant in Bharuch, India.
While every other company in the marketplace is now producing strictly LCD and plasma displays for video and computer screens, Videocon is still manufacturing old-style cathode ray tube displays. To do so the company requires tons of old cathode-ray displays to recycle into new products, making it a crucial outlet for U.S. e-cyclers looking to recycle CRT glass in a responsible fashion.
The good news for e-cyclers is that Videocon expects to continue glass-to-glass recycling for another three years. That’s not much time, but it does provide a little respite while the e-cycling industry looks to innovative creatives to solve the problem of CRT glass permanently.
Finally, speaking of creative solutions to the CRT glass problem, the British Nulife Glass company just released details of a plan to build a second CRT glass processing center in the U.S. — this one in Bristol, Virginia. Nulife’s proprietary and award-winning process allows both lead and glass to be recovered, making CRT recycling both practical and profitable.