Kuusakoski processes CRT glass in Illinois

Company says its Peoria plant has processed several million pounds of CRT glass since opening in late 2013.

March 18, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
Electronics Glass

Kuusakoski Recycling US, a division of Finland-based Kuusakoski Recycling, says since opening its Peoria, Ill., cathode ray tube (CRT) glass crushing plant in November 2013 it has received and processed several million pounds of CRT glass.

Kuusakoski says CRT devices currently make up more than 40 percent of the electronic scrap stream by weight. While historically the processing and recycling of CRTs has been challenging, the company says its KleanKover recycling operation has cut processing costs by 40 percent while meeting or exceeding U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

“Processing CRT glass requires diligence and dedication to the highest standards of excellence,” says Anssi Takala, Kuusakoski Recycling US vice president of sourcing, sales and logistics. “We are pleased to be providing the most affordable solution in the U.S. to manage this significant portion of this e-waste stream. Both device manufacturers and municipalities are working with us to manage their CRT waste streams responsibly.”

Working in partnership with Peoria Disposal Co. (PDC) of Peoria, Kuusakoski recycles and processes CRT tubes by crushing the glass, extracting the metal in and on the glass and stabilizing the lead content in the funnel glass to prevent it from leaching into the environment. The company says it does this at a cost of up to 40 percent less than other current processing methods.

The KleanKover process treats leaded CRT glass and tests it twice with toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) analysis, which verifies compliance with the EPA universal treatment standards (UTS) of 0.75 milligrams per liter of lead concentration. KleanKover samples are routinely testing below 0.02 milligrams per liter, according to Kuusakoski.

“For the KleanKover to even qualify for use as ADC (alternative daily landfill cover), it undergoes the same rigorous treatment procedure PDC also uses for K061 electric arc furnace dust, which is the largest hazardous waste stream generated by volume in the U.S. today,” says Chris Coulter, vice president of PDC. “As we anticipated, the KleanKover TLCP testing has gone very smoothly. In fact, the treated CRT glass is consistently testing at 30 times below EPA limits.”

After testing, the KleanKover glass material is used as ADC at PDC’s Indian Creek landfill in Illinois. The company prepared a white paper on CRT recycling opportunities, which is available here.

Kuusakoski Recycling’s operations span 12 countries, three continents and 48 states. The company provides recycling services to e-scrap collectors and recyclers, enterprises, small businesses, nonprofits, original equipment manufacturers and government agencies and municipalities.