Change is coming for California CRT processors
By Henry Leineweber, Resource Recycling
Amid many processors' calls for new regulations and recycling models for CRT glass, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) held a stakeholder meeting on Sept. 26 to discuss possible revisions to how the Golden State handles its CRT glass recycling.
Currently, California requires that CRT glass handled as universal waste either be used as a feedstock in the manufacture of new CRTs, or be used as a feedstock for primary or secondary lead smelters. However, there are only two CRT manufacturers that accept recycled glass, and both of them are located in Asia. As downstream options dwindle for glass processors, many, including E-World Online, Closed Loop Refining & Recovery and others, are  of the rules.
With the goal of expanding disposition options while still preserving recycling, the recent CalRecycle Stakeholder meeting explored the possibility of revisions for California. Some of the expanded options may include allowing other uses for recycled CRT glass, beyond CRT manufacture and lead smelter feedstock; the ability to submit documentation demonstrating that accumulated glass has no universal waste recycling options; the possibility of full regulation as hazardous waste; the conditional exclusion of non-RCRA CRT panel glass; possible alternative disposal and other options.
"Any changes to the hazardous waste or universal waste rules that govern the management of CRT glass in California would likely be made under 'emergency regulations.' This allows for a timely rulemaking process that could be as short as a couple months," explains CalRecycle Electronic Waste Program manager Jeff Hunts. "At the workshop, [the state's Department of Toxic Substances Control] indicated that they were aiming to have any changes in place and effective by the end of the year. CalRecycle will also be making complementary changes in the covered electronic waste (CEW) recycling payment system regulations to allow for expanded management options. We anticipate a similar timeframe for that rulemaking."
Hunts says the next step in the process is for stakeholders to review the proposals from the Sept. 26 meeting and submit comments or questions. Over the course of the next month, DTSC will incorporate those comments as part of the informal process. However, once DTSC files proposed emergency rules, explains Hunts, there is only a short window in which they can be successfully implemented. More on the emergency rule adoption process for California can be found here .