American Recycler News, Inc.


Kuusakoski tackles CRT waste with new technology

The U.S. Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) estimates 43 percent of the e-waste stream consists of cathode ray tube (CRT) devices, including computer monitors and televisions. International metals and electronics recycler Kuusakoski Recycling has entered a partnership with solid and industrial waste and recycling services firm Peoria Disposal Company (PDC) to process CRT glass, boost North American CRT processing capacity and establish a new beneficial use for the treated glass as landfill alternate daily cover (ADC).

The patent-pending KleanKover Recycling Solution, developed and permitted by PDC, treats crushed CRT glass by stabilizing the lead contained therein to virtually prevent leaching, at a cost to Kuusakoski Recycling’s customers of up to 40 percent below current processing methods. PDC’s Indian Creek landfill has been permitted to use the KleanKover as ADC to meet state daily cover regulations for municipal waste landfill operation.

Using the treated glass as ADC offers an environmentally and socially superior alternative to the use of virgin soil to meet daily cover regulations. The KleanKover Recycling Solution is detailed in the recent white paper “An Analysis of the Demand for CRT Glass Processing in the U.S.”

Hannu Melarti, president of Kuusakoski US, LLC, said, “With our ability to treat 50,000 tons of lead containing CRT glass annually, we look forward to establishing our footprint in the US and relieving a major pain point in the industry.”

EPA data projects that approximately seven million tons of CRT devices remain to be recovered in the U.S. CRT technology has become nearly obsolete with the transition to flat panel screens, thereby eliminating the market for reused CRT glass in new CRT devices. Without cost-competitive recycling options, recyclers and processors are increasingly stockpiling CRTs in their possession or sending them overseas where the final destination of the leaded glass is difficult to verify.

Currently, 4 North American CRT processing facilities handle approximately 128,000 tons of CRT glass annually. This falls short of the estimated higher demand of 392,000 tons per year. The partnership between PDC and Kuusakoski brings an additional annual CRT leaded glass processing capacity of 50,000 tons to North America, as well as a second U.S. facility. Furthermore, PDC’s existing permit holds the option to triple this capacity in the future.

“Although we’ve been treating crushed CRT glass since 1989, it was Kuusakoski’s partnership and capacity commitment that challenged us to develop this ADC end-use,” said Chris Coulter, vice president at Peoria Disposal Company. “With existing CRT processing options and facilities reaching a dead end, a new route to CRT management is vital within the coming decade, and we look forward to fulfilling that need.”