Electronics, Recycling Associations Seek New Solutions for CRT Glass Recycling, While Acknowledging Options Available Today

Wed May 22, 2013 2:45pm EDT

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Electronics, Recycling Associations Seek New Solutions for CRT Glass Recycling, While Acknowledging Options Available Today

CEA, ISRI, ERCC reveal NERC survey results, discuss collaborative ways forward

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® today announced that while ample markets and downstream vendors appear to exist for recycling cathode ray tube (CRT) glass, about 20 percent of recyclers reported difficulties and are seeking solutions to avoid stockpiling this product, which for many years was the technology of choice for displays such as televisions, computer screens and diagnostic equipment.

CEA revealed the results of a recent national survey of electronics recyclers conducted by the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC) on CRT glass management in the U.S., at a meeting yesterday with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI)® and the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC) ®. Highlights of the study are as follows:

  • Ample markets and downstream vendors currently exist for most electronics recyclers who responded to the survey;
  • Recyclers typically rely on intermediary or downstream vendors to process their glass;
  • The amount of CRT volume sent for processing remains the primary cost differentiator, with smaller volumes incurring higher per-unit costs; and
  • Market supply of CRTs is relatively stable or even decreasing for at least half of all recyclers who responded to the survey.

The survey, funded by CEA, was fielded during a two-week period in March and April 2013. A total of 82 companies completed the online survey, of which 70 were invited and 12 were unsolicited. Among the 70 companies invited to complete the survey, 90 percent are certified e-scrap recyclers.

“As the uses for CRT glass decline, the consumer electronics and recycling industries have come together to find solutions for recycling this glass,” said Walter Alcorn, vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability, CEA. “Through the efforts of the consumer electronics industry’s eCycling Leadership Initiative, and CEA’s efforts to promote eCycling directly to consumers via GreenerGadgets.org, we have made great progress toward increasing the recycling of electronics, including CRTs.”

In recent years, demand for CRTs has dropped drastically as newer LCD, LED and plasma technologies, which are more compact and use less energy, have become more affordable and widely available. Recovered CRT glass had traditionally been used in the creation of new CRT displays, but the end-use markets for CRT glass have decreased considerably. Today’s CEA-ISRI-ERCC stakeholder meeting included a review of recent survey data, discussion with officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning CRT glass regulation, and a discussion of efforts by CEA, ISRI and others to find new uses for old CRT glass.

In order to encourage the development of new uses for CRT glass, CEA and ISRI are sponsoring a technical “CRT Challenge” to identify financially viable, environmentally-conscious proposals for using recycled CRT glass. CEA and ISRI will accept submissions for the CRT Challenge until June 30, 2013, at innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933317. The winning solution will be chosen based on economic and environmental benefits, and CEA will award $10,000 to the winner. CEA and ISRI will publicize and share solution(s) with manufacturers, retailers and recyclers, and encourage implementation.

“The coordination among stakeholders from CEA, ISRI, ERCC, EPA and others will go a long way to ensuring that CRTs are responsibly recycled during the coming decade,” said Eric Harris, director, government and international affairs, ISRI.

CEA and the consumer electronics (CE) industry are committed to being green through the creation of energy efficient products, and encouraging and facilitating electronics recycling. As part of an effort to increase the amount of electronics recycled, CEA and the CE industry have created the eCycling Leadership Initiative to: improve consumer awareness of collection sites; increase the amount of electronics recycled responsibly; increase the number of collection opportunities available; and to recycle one billion pounds of electronics annually by 2016. In the first two years since the Initiative was established, the number of pounds of CE goods recycled by the industry has nearly doubled.

For more information on CEA’s environmental efforts, visit CE.org/Green. Consumers can visit GreenerGadgets.org year-round for the most exciting developments in eco-friendly electronics and more tips on how to Live Green, Buy Green, and Recycle Responsibly.

About The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI)

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the Voice of the Recycling Industry™. ISRI represents more than 1,700 companies in 21 chapters nationwide that process, broker and industrially consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides education, advocacy, and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. For more information about ISRI, visit www.ISRI.org.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $209 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media: http://www.ce.org/social


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  • 2014 International CES New York Press Preview
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Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
Samantha Nevels, 703-907-7080
Mark Carpenter, 202-662-8525

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