CRT Glass End Market Audits: Yuma continued

I spent a long time with VP of Dlubak today, going over our planned trial of CRT glass fines we would take back to the smelter in Mexico. I also apologized for the delay in shipping our bare CRTs there, but I knew they were in no hurry for our small quantities.

The EPA enforcement paperwork was a terrific tool for us to use and translate into Spanish - had it not come out, we might have made some of the same mistakes with gaylord labelling, and commingling glass types (since the smelter doesn't care, it would be easy for us not to care. For that matter, Dlubak prepares mixes of glass according to smelter purchase orders).

The main thing people need to understand is that beating up on Dlubak over a minor fine is a case of "the perfect being the enemy of the good." An Arizona blogger announced Dlubak was shipping the glass to the Philippines (Nope.), Jim Puckett is quoted as saying there is a lot of cadmium in the glass (some very rare 1960s color TV tubes used cadmium to make yellows, and was citing a US Navy CRT built in the 1950s as their information source on cadmium). I was alarmed to see California companies pushing Dlubak under the bus, implying they are shocked to see lead silica in a pile.

The fact is that the CRT Glass Test is the single best indicator of whether an electronics company is shipping toxic waste overseas. The bad CRTs that cannot be reused or repaired are the biggest cost to an electronics recycler, and the companies like Dlubak and Videocon and CRT Processors, which are tackling that expensive material, need to be protected and thanked. They are not in the business of covering up for exporters who avoid the cost of CRT glass washing and processing, they are the ones who can tell you if a company (like mine) really is paying them $150k per year to manage the bad CRTs (we do).

BAN and my company (before was formed) released a joint paper employing the CRT Glass Test, and it has been embraced by EPA, by California CRRA, and others as providing an easy way to certify your electronics recycler is really recycling. We cannot do this without companies like Dlubak.

So keep abreast of how Dlubak reforms and corrects the mistakes identified in the EPA enforcement. But don't throw them under the bus. As I told Popular Mechanics in my most famous geeky interview last year, the CRT glass processors are the hardest working companies in the e-scrap business. They are NOT managing "e-waste". eWaste is what happens if you throw it away and it DOESN'T get recycled. These are the good guys.

BAN could have pointed out that their own 2004 Study (done with me) demonstrated the critical importance Dlubak plays in the recycling chain. Instead, they added to the hysteria in interviews about the pile. Mining produces piles of lead and silica 100 times the size of Yuma's, and leave a scarred mountainside 1000 times larger. Recycling is good.

Ban Crt Glass Test 2004

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have the displeasure of living down the street from Dlubak's latest CRT processing facility in Ohio. It was recently moved to a new building. I was in the old facility about two years ago. The process consisted of a group of for men dropping the used electronics on the concrete floor and then sorting the scrap. I saw no dust masks, resperators, eye protection, etc. The current facility makes a tremendous amount of noise day and night.