Frequent Questions

Are CRTs considered hazardous waste? How should they be managed? Do they have to be recycled or can they be disposed?

Most cathode ray tubes (CRTs) from computers and color televisions are considered hazardous waste under federal regulations when disposed (unless they come from households).  They are classified this way because of the presence of lead. 

CRTs sent for recycling, however, are not considered wastes as long as certain conditions are met.  Used intact CRTs stored by collectors or recyclers are subject only to speculative accumulation requirements (i.e., 75% must be recycled within a year).  Used broken CRTs sent for recycling within the United States must be stored in a building or packaged and labeled, and they must be packaged and labeled during transport.  They must also comply with speculative accumulation limits.  In addition, CRT glass processors may not use temperatures high enough to volatilize lead.

Besides the above-mentioned requirements, exporters of CRTs for recycling must also file a notice with EPA and obtain consent from the receiving country before shipping the CRTs.  However, exporters of fully processed CRT glass to glass manufacturers or lead smelters are not subject to the notice and consent requirements.

CRTs are not required to be recycled.  However, if they are disposed, they must comply with full hazardous waste management requirements.  For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/recycling/electron/index.htm.

References:  40 CFR 261.4(a)(22) (71 FR 42928, July 28, 2006). 

Have more questions? Submit a request