November 13, 2014

New Guidance on Reuse of CRT Glass

EPA recently released two new guidance documents that discuss the regulatory status of cathode ray tube (CRT) glass when recycled:

  1. RO 14844 discusses the use of crushed, treated CRT glass as alternative daily cover (ADC) at nonhazardous, Subtitle D, landfills. The letter confirms 1) crushing and stabilizing glass from CRTs that exhibit the toxicity characteristic for lead is considered hazardous waste treatment, and 2) use of crushed glass as ADC is considered land disposal. Therefore, the crushed, treated CRT glass would need to meet land disposal restrictions (LDR) treatment standards prior to placement in the Subtitle D landfill as ADC. Additionally, such use of CRT glass may require state approval under §258.21. One of the finer points of this guidance document is determining the point of generation (POG) of the CRT glass. Under the CRT exclusion at §261.4(a)(22), recycled CRTs and CRT glass are not solid waste. So, where is the POG if the entire CRT is not recycled—at the initial generator facility or the recycler? EPA noted the point at which any person decides that a CRT component (e.g., plastic, glass, wiring) will be discarded is the POG of a solid waste, and the person making the decision would have to make a hazardous waste determination. This would normally be the recycler.
  2. In RO 14845, EPA explains how they went through the four recycling legitimacy criteria in §260.43 when evaluating the use of leaded funnel glass derived from CRTs as a substitute for lead oxide in the production of ceramic tile: 1) the hazardous secondary material (HSM) makes a useful contribution to the recycling process, 2) the recycling process produces a valuable product, 3) the HSM is managed as a valuable commodity, and 4) the product being produced is comparable to a product produced from primary (virgin) materials. Additionally, the agency stated that even though the CRT glass was being recycled outside of the United States, it could still be managed under one of the use/reuse exclusions in §261.2(e). Thus, the HSM would be excluded from the hazardous waste regulations, including the export notification and consent requirements of Part 262.


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