South Carolina waste agencies sued in aftermath of Creative CRT debacle

Dive Brief:

  • Eleven South Carolina solid waste agencies have been sued by a local property owner that says they're responsible for e-waste left behind by Creative Recycling Systems after it declared bankruptcy, as reported by Resource Recycling.
  • Carolina Pines I, LLC says that the 6 million pounds of material belongs to these agencies because it originated with them. The company says this has prevented it from bringing in a new tenant and is demanding back rent of $15,000 per month from Sep. 2014 through judgment, punitive damages and other fees. 
  • One city chose to settle for $11,000 rather than face costly litigation though none of the others have. The jury trial is expected to start in spring of 2017.

Dive Insight:

Creative Recycling reportedly left behind 30 million pounds of CRT glass at six locations in various states and has often been cited as a cautionary tale. The Environmental Protection Agency has warned against stockpiling the material and officials have predicted that it could be a larger problem in the future

The cost of recycling this material, as well as a reduction in supply, has caused some companies to move away from it. While volumes have begun to decrease in some states and others are working to update their regulations, CRT management is still an issue. Many local electronics recycling programs are still inundated with CRT units as reuse markets for them have essentially vanished.

Despite these factors, someone will still need to deal with the material left behind at Carolina Pines' property. Cases about illegally dumped or abandoned waste at properties often go back to the company that was supposed to be managing it. Depending on when it's determined that responsibility for material is transferred from the customer to the recycler, the outcome of this case could set an interesting precedent.

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Filed Under: Corporate News Recycling Regulation