CEA, ISRI Seek Solutions for CRT Glass

Associations have issued a challenge to find end markets for obsolete cathode ray tube glass.

April 3, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Electronics Glass

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) have announced a technical “CRT Challenge” to identify financially viable, environmentally-conscious proposals for using recycled cathode ray tube (CRT) glass.

As CRT technology has been displaced in the market by liquid crystal display (LCD), light-emitting diode (LED) and plasma displays, the consumer electronics and recycling industries say new ways to recycle old CRT glass are becoming necessary.

In a jointly issued news release, CEA and ISRI say more than 2 billion pounds of legacy CRT TVs and monitors are expected to enter the recycling stream. And with demand for old CRT glass to make new CRT glass waning, the organizations say there is an increased need for additional environmentally-sound, economically sustainable uses for this material.

“The CRT challenge is a crowd-sourced technical competition to find new uses for old CRT glass,” says Walter Alcorn, vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability for CEA. “The consumer electronics industry is fully committed to eCycling, and this CRT challenge has the potential to uncover new, innovative electronics recycling.”

CEA and ISRI will accept submissions for the CRT Challenge until June 30, 2013, at www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933317. The winning solution will be chosen based on economic and environmental benefits, with CEA awarding $10,000 to the winner.

The two groups also say they will publicize and share solution(s) with manufacturers, retailers and recyclers, followed by encouraging implementation.

“ISRI is very excited to be co-sponsoring the CRT Challenge with the Consumer Electronics Association,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “The Challenge presents a great opportunity to expand and develop new markets for recycled CRT glass and help recyclers as the industry transitions from CRTs to newer display technologies.”

The news release states that for many years, CRTs were the technology of choice in the display industry, used in everything from television and computer screens to diagnostic equipment displays. In recent years, demand for CRTs has dropped drastically as newer LCD, LED, and plasma technologies, which are more compact and use less energy, have become more affordable and widely available. As the making of new CRT displays had been the primary destination for recovered CRT glass, the end-use markets for CRT glass have now decreased considerably.

“The EPA recognizes that the reduced number of facilities that accept processed CRT glass is posing challenges for recycling this material,” says Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.