Federal EPA rejects overseas e-waste dumping by Monterey Park company

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An import-export company in Monterey Park must craft a plan to recycle 32-thousand pounds of electronic waste it tried to dump overseas. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports.

The e-waste is cathode ray tubes – they go in televisions and video monitors. The tubes contain enough lead that under certain circumstances, companies must dispose them in an environmentally sound way, under penalty of law. In this case, ZKW Trading tried to ship the tubes to Hong Kong labeled as plastic scrap. The federal Environmental Protection Agency says that a 2-year-old law prevents the company from shipping e-waste overseas without explicit permission from the country it’s going to. Hong Kong inspectors turned away the falsely labeled cargo, and now it’s back on pallets in this country. ZKW Trading could face stiff penalties if it doesn’t come up with a disposal plan – but it’ll pay plenty if it disposes the cathode ray tubes the right way. The company’s got 30 days to remove the e-waste, and a month and a half to recycle it responsibly.