EPA Enforcement of CRT Rule on Exports

It is being repeated over and over in the press that there are no rules about CRTs exported for reuse.  This is inaccurate.   Under US EPA Final Rules on Cathode Ray Tubes, there is a list of companies which have submitted "one time notification of export for reuse", meeting provision A (My company submitted on January 10, 2007).

There is a provision B to the EPA export rule.
  • "The exporters listed below must keep copies of normal business records demonstrating that each shipment will be reused. Records must be retained for three years. The notices are required to be submitted only once."
In 2007, at the Recycling Today conference, EPA and BAN and WR3A met together to talk about the export for repair business, meeting face to face with importers from Mexico, Malaysia, Egypt, Senegal, Indonesia and Thailand.   Here's a photo.  We should be way past misunderstanding. 

We disclosed our whole export for reuse and repair process, we showed our end markets.  But we have never been asked by EPA for our records of reuse (BAN asked, but in the same breath, said they were illegal regardless).  If BAN is saying that 80% of the loads these reuse companies are exporting are in fact waste, then EPA needs to start collecting the records to see if that is accurate.   Through WR3A we have records not only on the reuse, but on the proper recycling of incidental breakage which (using the CRT Glass Test) we can verify independently.  We did so with an R2 audit, we also take film.

BAN, it would appear, either does not believe that the CRTs are really being reused (they have stated repeatedly that 80% are disposed) or believes that the repair and refurbishing of them is illegal... My contention is that they believe NEITHER.  Instead, the evidence is that BAN thinks they SHOULD be illegal and are waging a campaign against these operations.  The dialogue is over, they have said, so I'm calling all the cards onto the table.

Basel Action Network SAYS:
"According to BAN, about 80 percent of the e-waste consumers deliver to recyclers is not recycled by these companies at all but is simply shipped to countries in Asia and Africa to some of the world’s most impoverished communities where the waste is smashed, burned, melted or chemically treated in extremely dangerous backyard operations."

BAN's position, apparently, is that if repair includes replacing a simple capacitor (something Americans did all over the country in the 1980s and 90s), that the capacitor must be tested and replaced before the export for repair may occur.
  • Are the exports 80% waste or 80% good?
  • If the export is still illegal under Basel Convention Annex IX b1110, why did BAN protest that clause and state in writing that it conflicts with Annex III?
  • If it is really these tiny parts and capacitors removed in repair that BAN considers illegal, then it isn't 80% of the load, is it?  

BAN may just be saying that if 80% of the loads are refurbished and have a part replaced, that 80% of the load is waste.  If that is the issue, then we need EPA and some journalists to wake up and smell the ... smoke.  Or, if NRDC says these CRTs are being burned for copper, and BAN is talking about a 1-gram non-toxic part replacement, then wake up and smell the lack of smoke.

We test the CRTs for key functions, as the importer requires and demands, and if my staff make an error, we pay for proper recycling.   BAN is creating a situation where people invest in big shredding machines because they are afraid of making an error.  EPA requires that we keep records of our errors.    This whole discussion is SO 1999!  Dudes!  C'mon man!

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