Scrap vs. waste distinction has left loopholes for abuse

Oct 28, 2005 | 08:45 AM | Paul Schaffer

The U.S. scrap metal industry unwittingly created some loopholes for abuse with its 1990s success in severing some recyclables from waste management regulations, an environmental activist said last week.

Jim Puckett, coordinator of the Basel Action Network, said the distinction of scrap from waste makes sense in principle. However, he said the original, stronger provisions should have been left unchanged for material leaving the country, destined to be transformed or discarded by companies outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"When we applied it internationally, it was a grievous error," Puckett said at the E-Scrap 2005 conference in Orlando Thursday.

He later cited two rule changes by the EPA that have had a negative effect. One exempted circuit boards intended for recycling from certain hazardous waste provisions, while the other said shipments consisting mostly of certain base metals fall outside the code.....

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