The Basel Action Network (BAN), along with CBS News in California, are highlighting the discovery of a warehouse in Yuma, Ariz., reportedly filled with more than 9 million pounds of glass from cathode ray tubes (CRT).
BAN says the glass was originally collected by the California state recycling program.
According to BAN, the company that warehoused the glass was known as Dow Management and has “disappeared.” The company was paid more than $581,000 by recyclers in California to accept the glass, and those companies in turn were paid $3.6 million from California’s legislated recycling fund.
“Dow Management has bilked California consumers of at least half a million dollars,” says Jim Puckett, BAN’s executive director. “And what is truly amazing is that we have seen no evidence of the federal government, nor the states of Arizona or California conducting any effort to prosecute the perpetrators.”
While Dow Management’s owners can’t be found, the state of California has ordered the recyclers in California who shipped the CRTs to Arizona to remove the material at their own expense and send it to a legitimate processor. The companies who have been ordered to remove their material include:
- KYO Computer Inc., Newark, Calif.
- eWaste Center Inc., Commerce, Calif., and Tukwilla, Wash.
- Attan Recycling Corp., Chino, Calif.
- All e-Waste Inc., Sun Valley, Calif.; and
- Global Surplus Solutions Inc., San Bernardino, Calif.
Under California law, consumers are required to pay an advanced recovery fee every time they buy a new television set or computer display. The fee is paid to designated recyclers to have the material properly processed. Under federal law it is illegal to speculatively accumulate CRT glass for recycling for longer than one year. In this case neither the California law nor federal laws appear to have been followed.
“Dow was holding the glass for longer than one year and yet neither the State of Arizona, nor the Federal EPA was bothering to enforce the rule against stockpiling,” says Puckett. “When regulators don’t regulate and prosecutors don’t prosecute, people get hurt and criminals rule the roost."