Start Up Designs Sustainable, Mobile CRT Recycling Technology

Entrepreneur, Juan Carlos Villatoro is applying the innovation and agility of start-up culture to one of the biggest environmental challenges on the planet; recycling the hazardous CRT glass stockpiled in the US that could end up in landfills or third world countries who are ill equipped to recycle it safely. Accessible CRT recycling is geographically limited, expensive and provides zero upside for traditional eWaste recyclers. Government agencies have yet to enforce regulations nationwide that could mitigate this environmental threat.

crtfreepngOur nation’s eWaste recycling problem is not getting smaller any time soon.  Right now, we improperly dump or incinerate 220 tons of eWaste per year.  That number is poised to increase as new technology continues to replace obsolete technology – especially Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs). Accessible CRT recycling is geographically limited, expensive and provides zero upside for traditional eWaste recyclers. In their working state CRTs are not hazardous, but once crushed, phosphorus gas and lead pose serious health and environmental risks. To date, government agencies have yet to enforce regulations nationwide that could mitigate this human health and environmental threat.

CRTs comprise the majority of eWaste weight, and each unit contains between 4-8 lbs. of lead.  In the US alone, we currently have 860 Million lbs. of CRT glass stockpiled with another 13.8 Billion lbs. that require collection for recycling.  In fact, by 2015, we will be faced with approximately 73 Million Metric tons of eWaste that must be recycled.  *source: recycling today & EPA eWaste report 2013.

The founder of eCycle Security, Juan Carlos Villatoro, has developed a closed loop, sustainable process for safely recycling CRT glass down to resalable commodities. The process, already approved by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, requires minimal start-up costs to manufacture the required machinery compared to other CRT recycling methods such as lead smelting or gasification.  The process was designed to be a mobile solution, allowing operations to move into local markets, reduce the financial and environmental costs associated with transportation of CRT glass, and simplify the recycling process with increased accessibility for local communities.

Located in Jacksonville, Florida, eCycle Security is engaging both the local and international community in a crowd-funding project called CRT FREE CITIES (#crtfreejax). If successful, this project has the potential to create 36 new jobs in 12 months and infuse $6 Million into the local economy.
Phase One of the project included participating in Jacksonville’s 2nd Annual international crowd-funding festival called One Spark. With local call to action to make Jacksonville ‘CRT Free by 2016’, the eCycle team showed up in ‘the World’s Biggest Macintosh’.

“We built a huge Macintosh Classic II because people loved that computer. We wanted to find a creative way to bring awareness for this huge environmental mess that isn’t necessarily on most people’s radar” said Villatoro.  “We’re hoping that technology lovers will take a moment to think about what happens when they are done with their electronics.  Making the assumption that once it’s picked up or dropped off its being recycled properly is a dangerous one.”

That message resonated with the international audience, resulting in a fourth place spot for eCycle Security in the competitive science category.

Phase Two of the project includes an active campaign on the international crowd-funding site Indiegogo, as well as an awareness campaign on Instagram, Twitter (@ecyclesecurity) and Facebook.  Gratitude takes multiple forms as backers receive perks for different levels of support; virtual high fives, custom upcycled ‘geekery’ and trucker caps for smaller contributions and even a chance to name the entire process for the highest contribution level.

The campaign is live and runs until May 22, 2014.
Press or partnership inquiries:
Jenn Vonhagen

eCycle Security is a eWaste recycling company on a mission to mobilize proven technology and a completely transparent process for safely recycling CRT glass.  Committed to safety, integrity, sustainability, accountability and community empowerment, we strive for a cleaner recycling process for all electronic waste. (904) 330-0283

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