Garrison and Olymbec's CRT Glass Mess #2: Triple Jeopardy

Update on the progress of the CLRR lawsuit, where a 5-year landlord is suing people who shipped CRT tubes to the tenant in 2012 (there is a mess still there in 2019).

- The OEMs who backed CLRR are not named.
- The landlords who expanded CLRR 3-fold (3 warehouses) are suing recyclers who ceased shipments at first warehouse.
- Ohio EPA is pursuing tonnage, which means companies who abandoned CLRR before Ohio EPA greenlighted them are being sought for amends.

Weeks ago, we blogged about the Landlord's case against all recyclers, whom the landlord claims participated and profited from a "sham" recycler.  The landlord expects the judge to accept that anyone who shipped a tube there on Day 1 knew it was a sham, but the landlord did not, as they proceeded to extend leases and offer 2 additional buildings, years after some of us pulled the plug.

As an informal consultant to an OEM representative who vouched for CLRR, I have a treasure trove of information on the project between. 

My associates provided a viable downstream outlet for the CRT glass CLRR was able to process (at least, until the trommel broke in 2015), as an industrial mineral useful to primary and secondary metal smelters. In 2016, E-Scrap News published my article on the useful nature of CRT glass sized and graded with trommels. That was the backup plan for CLRR, not the $15M furnace.  When 2014 ended, CLRR had not shipped enough loads of processed furnace ready cullet, and the speculative accumulation had begun.

What could CLRR do, and when could they no longer do it?

CLRR's trommel in Columbus, Ohio, broke in 2015, but they continued to accept material.  And the material they accepted became worse and worse. Ohio EPA cites the 2015 trommel breakdown as a key moment when CLRR became a "sham" but is silent about the distinction between companies who abandoned CLRR even before that.

Among the largest loads CLRR received was the cleanout of three OTHER bankrupt recyclers from several OTHER landlords abandoned properties. Creative Recycling, GES, and 2TRG/EWSI are not mentioned in the lawsuit, but a significant portion of the material in Columbus Ohio was simply moved from CERCLA Site A to CERCLA Site B. Companies who blew the whistle on that to OEMs and CLRR representatives are, to the landlord, equally guilty as those who shipped to the day before bankruptcy.

In this "Triple Jeopardy" blog, we focus on the irony that the current suit cites as an NGO "expert" the organization which certified and recommended the previous bankrupt companies, whose shredded CRTs must now be moved a third time.  If we are going to widen the pool of PRPs, we need to either start where speculative accumulation started, or go back to the entire pool of companies involved.

Going back to previous GOCRTGM blog #1, the hypothesis was that you sent a CRT glass tube to CLRR, what did you know, and when did you know it?... You delivered your CRT to CLRR's only address from 2012-13.  You stopped shipping way before CLRR ignored YOUR PO for furnace ready cullet, and began stockpiling it.

CLRR was operating in the warehouse at 1675 Watkins Road in 2013... When Garrison purchased the property, after your CRT had been delivered.  But it was also a year AFTER the NGO recommended "Big Shred" E-Waste Recycler, Creative Recycling, abandoned waste CRT glass on another landlord.  Garrison cites an "expert" whose cleanup company had shipped waste to Garrison's site in 2014.

Presumably the new landlord had an appraisal and property inspection. Presumably, someone at GSP knew something about your 2012 CRT, or the process proposed or taking place, when they purchased the building. What they knew, or should have known, is whether their renter CLRR was doing work or just storing material.  They say that you should have known, in 2012 and mid-2013, what their NGO expert identified as a concern in late 2013.

GSP renewed the lease with CLRR in April 2014, two years after our 2012 delivery, after the Creative Recycling bankruptcy, and after the NGO warned a out the process.  After the "bell", GSP agreed to lease CLRR a second warehouse at 1755 Watkins Road.

Follow this - You shipped in 2012, landlord says that BAN's whistle in late 2013 should have warned YOU, but LANDLORDS leased 2 more warehouses in 2014 and 2015.  It seems that BAN's warning was a dog whistle only 2012 recyclers (retroactively) and not the landlords of the subject, could hear.

According to Ohio EPA filings (public hearings), the new lease after you ceased shipments was to move CRT glass that actually had been processed from intact CRTs, like yours, delivered to 1675 Watkins in 2012-2013. 

You don't know that, because you shipped your CRT in 2012.  In 2013, you informed CLRR it had to ship the furnace ready cullet, and you provided a downstream who would accept it for free, actually sending one test load there for free. But CLRR was actually also receiving shredded glass from another bankrupt recycler, abandoned at another landlord, neither of whom merits a peep in GSP's complaint.  But the expert who had recommended the previous bankrupt recycler as an E-Steward is claimed by GSP to be an expert that they could not hear, but you should have heard a year and a half earlier, in 2012.

When you shipped your CRT to be recycled, what you also did not know, and may still not know, is that a few other landlords were resolving a few other abandoned CRT glass cases during this period.  

In 2012, E-Stewards gave certification to one of their Founding Members.  Creative Recycling - at one time one of the top 5 television and monitor recycling companies in the world - had gone bankrupt.  It seems their "one stop processing" machine, nicknamed "David", had created a huge messy pile of improperly broken, improperly processed, NOT "furnace ready" cullet, out of the CRTs the company accepted at its east coast facilities that extended from New York seaboard down to Florida. From Recycling Today [November 2012]:
"CRS says it has begun work to certify its processing facilities in Tampa; Baltimore; and Allentown, Pa. E-Stewards certification requires that all of a electronic recycling company’s processing facilities be certified to the standard, which also requires ISO 14001 certification. 
"The company has a total of 13 facilities, which includes collection facilities. CRS also holds R2/RIOS (Responsible Recycling Practices/Recycling Industry Operating Standard), ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications at its processing facilities."
The "Big Shred" process was heralded as "Profitable Environmentalism" in 2006, six years before you plucked a TV from the garbage, dismantled it, and sent the bare CRT under EPA CRT Rule conditions to CLRR in Columbus.  On November 4, 2006, the Business Observer celebrated the opening of the first machine in Tampa, Florida at Creative Recycling.

E-Stewards NGO "Watchdog" Basel Action Network is cited in the GSP and Olymbec complaints as an expert whose warnings about CRT glass in 2014 should have told you (in 2012) how risky CRT glass recycling was.  In Paragraph 113 of the Complaint, "The Basel Action Network ("BAN") is an environmental non-profit group that describes itself as an investigative watchdog for sham electronic waste recyclers. In Paragraph 115, the claim states "On or about September 26, 2013, BAN provided public comments in response to Defendant Closed Loop's permit application in which it expresses concens with the risk of speculative accumulation and sham reycling that would arise from Defendant Closed Loops' conduct".  In par 116, "BAN's public statements regarding the Defendant Closed Loop situation were widely disseminated and, upon information and belief, were known to [PRPs]"

What audit of which E-Steward might have given these insights to BAN?  And what landlords might have been aware of the perils of the situation?  As Bobby Elliot (Resource Recycling) reported in 2018, the demise of the huge Creative Recycling E-Steward led to abandonment of 32 million pounds of "legacy material".
After Florida-based Creative Recycling Systems filed for bankruptcy in September 2014, landlords in six different states – Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina – worked closely with state officials to remove 32 million pounds of legacy material.
The earliest cleanup was conducted in Maryland in December 2014 and the last cleanup was completed in September 2016 in South Carolina.
State records indicate most of the material was sent to a handful of downstream processors: Ohio-based Closed Loop Refining and Recovery, Kentucky-based Global Environmental Services (GES) and Illinois-based Kuusakoski Recycling.
Closed Loop and GES received more than half of Creative’s stockpile and have since closed, leaving behind millions of pounds of their own CRT glass.  Both firms have been the subject of lawsuits and regulatory action.
The earliest cleanup was conducted in December 2014, two years after you shipped your intact CRT to 1675 Watkins Road.  The movement of the 32 million pounds of "big shred" labor-saving, shit-producing CRT glass through e-Steward Kuusakoski (the party originally named in the GSP and Olymbec lawsuits) continued through 2016.

So, if you had listened to Basel Action Network in 2012, and sent your CRT to Creative Recycling to be shredded, it still wound up in Ohio.  And if you were a landlord in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, North or South Carolina, you'd already been to court to move 32 million pounds of improperly ("sham"?) managed CRTs to Columbus Ohio.

Garrison leased CLRR the second property, 1655 Watkins Road, to Closed Loop in 2014. You know this because you did what you were supposed to do, and doing the 365 day follow up on your 2012 and 2013 CRT deliveries to CLRR.  CLRR explained that your intact CRT had been processed to furnace ready cullet and was being moved to the second site, where a new furnace would be installed.

The furnace would be financed by 2 parties.  One of them was EWSI, which had - with great PR and fanfare - heralded the acquisition of E-Steward 2tRG and relocation of the material to (drumroll) Columbus, Ohio.

Closed Cincinnati firm leaves behind major CRT Stockpile

In June 2014, EWSI proudly announced that it had been "interviewed by Bobby Elliott of E-Scrap News". This was a few months after David Cauchi and Brent Benham informed you, during your speculative accumulation audit, that the new furnace would be financed by EWSI's $30M investment from Tanke and Loyalty in China.  Photos of Cauchi and Benham on that trip below.

Suffice to say, EWSI's announcement of the $30M from Chinese investors was BS, and led to the SEC filing suit against EWSI executives. Panos was convicted of fraud in 2016, Nielsen (pictured with Cauchi) was still up for sentencing in 2018.  For a peek at how EWSI operated, see its glowing announcement that the CEO had been "Interviewed by Bobby Elliot [sic]" (screencaptured from Wayback machine) below, and compare it with Elliot's actual articles on EWSI, 2TRG operations in West NY and Ohio.

This article on the EWSI 2TRG waste abandonment in 2014 is actually accessible via BAN's own website. The article shows pictures of the material abandoned by the E-Steward Certified operations at Ohio warehouses, and upaid rent to the Ohio landlords.  This was prior to Garrison and Olymbec leases of the 2nd and 3rd CLRR warehouse operations.

Ok, so my attorneys can relax... I've only shared public information (some of it you have to use the Wayback Machine for).  Not the records of Garrison South Park's discussions with Cauchi and Benham about the moving of E-Stewards abandoned material - TVs and other ewaste from Cincinnati Ohio and imporperly crushed CRTs from E-Steward Creative Recycling facilities in several other states, transported to the property by e-Steward Kuusakoski (originally named in the suit). And I'm not publicizing information on negotiations of where the abandoned CRT material in Columbus Ohio is slated to go, or who is currently the most reasonable bidder, or who has offered to finance the move.  Or what I know about which former employee of which renter  landlord in the suit knows all about this, including discussions with EWSI.

The major point of this blog is that if you are a landlord, and your client wants to lease a second and third warehouse, to receive material being moved by other bankrupt CRT processing firms (E-Stewards, all) in landsuits from other landlords, don't expect recyclers who refused to use THOSE bankrupt facilities in 2012 and 2013 to pay for that pile a THIRD time.



What is not yet public is who knew what, and when they knew it, and what they did to profit from it.

Ohio EPA knew about EWSI and 2TRG, and it's likely that GSP did, too.  According to executives at CLRR, it was no secret the Cincinnati stockpile was being moved to CLRR facilities, and that CLRR was waiting to be paid for it by EWSI.  CLRR executives told us that their landlord knew about the situation too, in 2013.  Certainly, everyone knew about it when EWSI held a grand opening of a new E-Waste plant in Columbus in partnership with CLRR.  And certainly, everyone noticed when EWSI closed that plant within a few months. Employees sued for non-payment, the Ohio AG was involved, and the SEC arrested EWSI executives for fraudulent claims of $30M Chinese investments to hype their and pump-and-dump stock sales.

CLRR executives further told us that the plan to purchase and pay for the $15M furnace involved discussions between representatives of the landlord and EWSI, who had purchased 2TRG. EWSI publicly claimed that year they had received $30M through a new China contract - and took CLRR executives to China with them to negotiate the deal.

So if it's true that CLRR told Landlord GSP and Ohio EPA about this financing plan, and Ohio EPA scheduled public hearings on the expansion at a second (GSP) and third (Olymbec) warehouse in 2014, and EWSI was issuing press releases about the Ohio e-Waste Recycling investment, why isn't any of this information in the deposition?

Alvin and the Chipmunks, Till I Collapse (Eminem Cover)

This is another chapter in a long story about racism against the Asian factories and African reuse operations that were buying working CRTs from Europe, Japan and America. As the UK House of Commons concluded in 2011, the used devices were rarely dumped, but represented a "loss of strategic metals" in demand by Big Shred operations, which in turn were financed by Planned Obsolescence OEMs designed programs. The whole payola scheme is managed by a "watchdog" in Seattle, who makes money from the very processors who MAKE the mess and then bid to collect it, dump it again, and bid to clean it up a 4th time.

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