There has been a great deal in the news lately about unscrupulous recyclers and how they are duping their customers into thinking that they’re one of the “good guys.” The fact of the matter is, it always pays to do a little digging because, regardless of what a recycler might tell you, their reputation and track record speaks volumes about who they are and how they do business.


Criminal activities involving recycling may not be on everybody’s radar, but if you’re a company that disposes of large quantities of electronic waste or other hazardous products, you should know what the recycler is going to do with it once it’s beyond your control.


Partnering with a commercial recycler who is only in it for their own gain will not only harm on your green initiative, it may well impact the safety of our planet, our water, and our soils for generations to come. In some cases, it may even present a national security threat. Getting to know your recycler will remove these possibilities from the equation and it might just help you sleep better at night.

Recycling crime is more common than you think


Recycling is big business in the United States, but a recent downturn in the global recycling market has had many companies scrambling to find solutions. Some are shutting down because they can’t sustain themselves any longer.


The bottom has nearly dropped out of the market. In some cases, what a recycler was making $100 a ton for last year is now is in the red $15 for the same amount of waste, and that’s just paper. Smaller companies are shutting down, and some cities are even suspending curbside recycling pickup because the market is drying up. In other communities, taxpayers are footing the bill.


In desperate times, unscrupulous companies turn to harmful practices, like selling their e-waste to the highest overseas bidder – instead of disposing of the items safely and as promised.


Notably, a company called Closed Loop has been at the heart of a situation where they have been collecting CRTs for the purpose of building a furnace to recycle CRT glass to produce lead and glass, two of the most marketable recyclable commodities.


Had they been successful, it would have represented a major technological breakthrough in the industry. Closed Loop now has hundreds of millions of pounds of leaded glass from scrap CRTs stockpiled at multiple sites and is now facing bankruptcy, not to mention numerous lawsuits, and yet they continue to operate.


This is only one example of why it is so important to know your recycler. If you are concerned with where your e-waste and other hazardous recyclables are going—and you should be—you owe it to yourself, your company, and your customers, to find out more.


Are you looking for an honest commercial recycler that is committed to environmental safety? Cleanlites is a leader in commercial and industrial waste management, and we’d love to show you how we can help you make a difference. Fill out our online form to request a quote today.