In 2014 Stone Castle Recycling, an e-waste recycler, became one of the many companies throughout the United States to fold. The problem with this is that they left a hazardous CRT stockpile estimated to be in the millions of pounds. The Environmental Protection Agency says the owner abandoned an estimated 7.5 million pounds of hazardous waste across the state. They were collecting electronics and harvesting the materials that they could easily sell and make a quick profit on. This concept is nothing new to this industry. Across the country electronic recycling companies are closing due to lowering commodity values and unethical business practices.
Background on Stone Castle Recycling
Stone Castle Recycling was the largest electronics recycler in the state of Utah. Anthony (Tony) Stoddard was the owner and CEO. Tony started Stone Castle in the late 80’s with a mission statement “To be the largest and most tenacious electronic recycler in Utah and in the western U.S.” Stone Castle worked with many state and local agencies along with many other private organizations. They had multiple locations in the state of Utah to include Clearfield, Cedar City, and Parowon.
A history of problems
Stone Castle’s has a history of fires starting in 2008 with their facility on Pennsylvania Avenue in Ogden. Later Tony moved his operations to the Freeport Center in Clearfield. March 2014, their facility in Parowan caught on fire. The Parowan facility was a stockpile of unprocessed e-waste sitting out in an open field. This fire is believed to have released harmful toxins to include dioxins, heavy metals, and other hazardous air pollution. Eventually this site was cleaned up by the EPA costing around a half million dollars. The Cedar City site burned in July 2014, and lastly the location in Clearfield caught fire in November 2014.
Tony eventually abandoned all his facilities in Clearfield, Cedar City, and Parowan. These facilities contained millions of pounds of hazardous e-waste and other materials bound for recycling. It is now the landlords’ responsibility to take care of the hazardous materials left behind by Stone Castle.
Minimal Regulation and Education
This and many other locations across the country have been a result of poor and ineffective legislation. Most individuals know the risk that lead, mercury, asbestos, and other hazardous materials cause. Not many people know the harm that is caused when companies improperly manager e-waste.
More education and regulation needs to be implemented to help prevent instances like the CRT Stockpile Stone Castle left behind.