Author Archives: Team Kuusakoski

Kuusakoski Glass LLC Becomes e-Stewards and ISO 14001 Certified

Peoria, IL – On April 6, 2016 the Kuusakoski Glass processing facility in Peoria, IL was approved for the e-Stewards and ISO 14001 certifications.  Kuusakoski Glass, in partnership with the Peoria Disposal Company, utilizes the Mineable Cell retrievable storage technology to provide an immediate, cost-effective, IL EPA approved and 100% domestic CRT glass downstream.  It is the only fully-dedicated CRT glass processing facility certified by e-Stewards.

The Mineable Cell Solution is a comprehensive process: first CRT display devices are dismantled and all non-glass components are further processed through shredding and separation techniques before being recycled; meanwhile the lead containing CRT glass tubes are crushed to a uniform size while metals are pulled out with an industrial magnet for recycling; then the crushed glass is treated with a proprietary reagent that stabilizes the lead along with all other hazardous toxins. Daily batches of treated glass are tested with two Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure tests in order to confirm the material has been rendered completely non-hazardous; finally the treated glass is placed into a dedicated “mineable cell” at the PDC Indian Creek Subtitle D Non-Hazardous Landfill for the ability to be mined and retrieved in the future.

“This is an important milestone for our team at Kuusakoski Glass,” says Rich Hipp, Kuusakoski US CEO. “Investments in our people, processes, and technologies are clearly being recognized by the industry. The e-Stewards and ISO 14001 certifications are a testament to the team’s hard work and the established continuous improvement culture that all stakeholders witness when they tour and audit the facility.”

Kuusakoski Recycling and Peoria Disposal Company (PDC) Retrievable Storage Option Conditionally Allowed Under e-Stewards Standard

Peoria, Illinois –  Today the Basel Action Network (BAN) announced that retrievable storage of Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) glass proposed by Kuusakoski Recycling and Peoria Disposal Company is conditionally allowed under the e-Stewards Standard. BAN’s decision follows nearly one year of review of technical information submitted by Kuusakoski/PDC documenting the environmental protectiveness of retrievable storage.

 

Kuusakoski and PDC appreciate BAN’s thorough review of our petition. The petition was submitted in response to BAN’s suggestion that retrievable storage can provide protected and safe storage of CRT glass, preserving it for future recycling, in addition to market constraints noted over one year ago by BAN and others. BAN’s findings on the petition cited further constriction in CRT glass capacity resulting from a number of market developments over the past year:

 

  • Videocon, the largest market for CRT glass from the U.S. and last known CRT manufacturer using recovered CRT glass, is not accepting CRT glass currently. The primary U.S. supplier to Videocon, TDM, is developing alternative uses for CRT glass. TDM’s uses for CRT glass have not been disclosed, and press reports do not indicate that they are currently operational.
  • Camacho, which uses CRT glass in a ceramic tile process in Spain, produces tiles which may test hazardous in the U.S. and are therefore illegal to import to the country. BAN has not determined whether Camacho is an acceptable process for use by e-Stewards recyclers.
  • A number of CRT glass processors have improperly, unsafely, and/or illegally managed CRT glass, including recyclers who have gone out of business or been stripped of their certification under the e-Stewards Standard.
  • Other companies (including Dlubak, NuLife, and Closed Loop cited by BAN) may be accepting CRT glass but do not have operating processing facilities to recycle the glass. BAN notes this raises serious public health concerns as well as concerns about bankruptcy and abandonment.
  • Lead smelters utilizing CRT glass as flux may not be recovering as much of the lead in the glass as the market has been led to believe. BAN proposes to consider lead smelting legitimate recycling only if the smelter can document that 95% or more of the lead in the glass is recovered.

 

Because of these developments, BAN intends to modify its handling of other “recycling” options under the e-Stewards Standard. In addition to the documentation that must be provided by lead smelters, BAN specifically stated that “Only CRT glass processing facilities that are fully permitted and operational (actively processing glass) can be acceptable destinations for leaded CRT glass, frit, and processing residuals.” Kuusakoski and PDC agree with placing further requirements on purported recyclers of CRT glass, and we appreciate that BAN’s decision clarifies the requirements CRT glass management options must meet to be allowed for use by certified recyclers.

BAN also recognized that Illinois law now allows retrievable storage as a CRT recycling option and other states may be considering the passage of similar laws.

With continued constriction in CRT glass capacity and the changes proposed in implementation of the e-Stewards Standard, even greater pressure is being placed on the CRT glass marketplace. Though one of the findings in BAN’s decision is that retrievable storage is not a form of recycling, BAN’s approval of retrievable storage as a conditionally allowed option supports its conclusions on the need for additional, operating CRT glass capacity. It is important to note that the Kuusakoski/PDC petition did not request BAN to classify retrievable storage as recycling, but sought instead to distinguish it from and make it preferable to disposal because it preserves CRT glass for future recycling. We maintain that this is an important distinction, and one that makes retrievable storage a more preferred option in BAN’s hierarchy.

 

Given the market developments noted by BAN, it is apparent the Kuusakoski/PDC retrievable storage option is the only currently allowed and available CRT glass management option under the e-Stewards Standard. Glass-to-glass recycling through Videocon is no longer available, lead smelters must submit documentation of their lead recovery before being used, Camacho has not been demonstrated to meet regulatory standards in the U.S. and is not approved by BAN, and other proposed technologies are not permitted and operational. By contrast, Kuusakoski/PDC’s retrievable storage option is permitted and operating today and has the capacity to manage 50,000 tons of CRT glass annually. We encourage recyclers and OEMs to consider Kuusakoski/PDC’s retrievable storage process for management of CRT glass under the e-Stewards Standard.

 

Contact: Meryl Pestano, Marketing Coordinator

Illinois CRT Recycling picked up by Kuusakoski for State of Illinois

Illinois CRT Recycling picked up by Kuusakoski for State of Illinois

Illinois CRT Recycling just got a boost from Governor Rauner of Illinois. The governor recently signed into law several bills which were sponsored by state Senator Jason Barickman, the Republican representative of Bloomington. Among these were House Bill 1455, which created the Electronic Products Recycling Act. This act sets new goals for electronics manufacturers and recycling firms over the next two years in an effort to divert modern electronic devices from ending up in landfills, where its devastating impact on the surrounding environment can already be seen in many places around the country. It does this through an increase in the targeted amount of e-waste to be recycled by weight. Certain types of e-waste are listed as having a targeted recycling amount of up to 90% of its weight, going by estimates in the total amount of e-waste over the last five years.

While it constitutes only 2% of the waste in landfills across the United States, e-waste – which consists of modern electronics in every variety, from old television monitors to discarded smartphones – is believed to comprise as much as 70% of that which is officially considered toxic waste within US landfills. The variety of metals and other substances used in the manufacture of electronics has a devastating effect upon the environment where it is allowed to accumulate over time, with profound implications for groundwater and overall ecological health. In addition, many of these materials are readily reusable. Of particular concern are CRTs, the modern designation for cathode ray tubes; the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that as much as 43% of e-waste in US landfills today consists of CRTs. These glass tubes were used in television sets for decades, to the point where they also wound up in early computer monitors. Their manufacture involved the use of lead, which makes them a strong proximity hazard to both the human population and a given landfill’s natural environs.

Kuusakoski Oy (https://www.kuusakoski.com) is a Finnish firm with a 100-year history of transparent, environmentally friendly practices and a history of innovation on the global industrial level. It is a world leader in environmentally conscious materials recycling, including the research and development process of developing newer, cleaner, and more efficient methods of recycling a wide variety of materials. With the passing of HB 1455, Governor Rauner has paved the way for Kuusakoski’s American division, Kuusakoski Recycling, to bring a new, environmentally safe method for the recycling of CRTs to bear across the state of Illinois, an act which many hope to see echoed across the country.

Kuusakoski Recycling manually disassembles the CRT units, and recycles 50% of the materials, containing Steel, Copper, Aluminum, and Plastic. The remaining glass component is sent through a proprietary process whereby the glass may be crushed, and stabilized through chemical treatment to where its lead component will no longer leech out. The finished product is stored in an EPA approved and monitored “Mineable Cell” where is can be easily retrieved for later refining. This scientifically vetted procedure is a legitimate form of recycling, a widely recognized use for CRT glass, which packs a one-two punch in the Kuusakoski Oy’s continuing worldwide efforts to preserve the natural environment: it removes the threat posed by untreated CRT glass or less sound processing methods, while simultaneously eliminating the risk of leaded glass being stockpiled in hundreds of unknown and unmonitored sites.

More information about Kuusakoski Recycling’s revolutionary CRT recycling methodology, including a downloadable paper on the subject, may be found online at http://kuusakoski.us/recycling-services/crt-recycling/.