Management and Disposal of a Specific Electronic Waste CRTs

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CRTs, shown in Figure 29.2, are the display components of televisions and computer monitors. CRT glass typically contains enough lead to be classified as hazardous waste when it is being recycled or disposed of. Currently, businesses and other organizations that recycle or dispose of their CRTs are confused about the applicability of hazardous waste management requirements to their computer or television monitors. The Federal government is proposing to revise regulations to encourage opportunities to safely collect, reuse, and recycle CRTs.4

To encourage more reuse and recycling, intact CRTs being sent for possible reuse are considered to be products rather than wastes and therefore not regulated unless they are being disposed of. If CRT handlers disassemble the CRTs and send the glass for recycling, the U.S. EPA is also proposing to exclude them from being a waste, provided they comply with simplified storage, labeling, and transportation requirements. Furthermore, the U.S. EPA believes that if broken CRTs are properly containerized and labeled when stored or shipped before recycling, they resemble commodities more than waste.

Finally, processed glass being sent to a CRT glass manufacturer or a lead smelter is excluded from hazardous waste management under most conditions. If the glass is being sent to any other kind of recycler, it must be packaged and labeled the same as broken CRTs. The U.S. EPA believes that these proposed changes will encourage the recycling of these materials, while minimizing the possibility of releasing lead into the environment. Figure 29.3 shows a flow diagram of the management, separation, recycle, and disposal of CRTs.4

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