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Senate bill could block lead and other recycling, scrap institute tells Congressional committee.

Senate Bill Could Block Lead and Other Recycling, Scrap Institute Tells Congressional Committee

Proposed Senate legislation to reduce the lead level in the environment was criticized recently by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc (ISRI).

Testifying before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, ISRI president David Serls said the proposed bill (S. 2637) may thwart rather than "maximize safe and legitimate recycling."

The scrap industry, he said, is concerned that S. 2637 includes the terms "process" and "distribute" among activities to be banned where certain products are used. Neither EPA or Congress has ever provided a clear definition of the term "processing," Serls noted.

If recycling is included within "process" and "distribute," then the scrap industry could no longer recycle painted bridge beams, soldered pipe, plastics, brass and copper plumbing fixtures, construction materials, curtain weights and other items, he said.

Such items would be landfilled instead, "adding at least 6-10 million tons a year to the solid waste disposal stream," Serls said. He asserted that "these products would pose a far greater danger in a landfill than in our (recycling) facilities."

ISRI urged that the bill state clearly that its terms apply only to the addition of lead to new products, not the processing or distribution of existing products in the recycling process.

Serls also said the bill's EPA inventory requirement would pose severe problems.

"A scrap processor would have to check all inbound scrap - which is usually mixed among several different types of scrap - and try to determine whether or not all the material in the truck was listed in the EPA inventory, and then exclude that which is not," he said. "If it is not so listed, the bill's provisions would preclude our industry from recycling."

Of primary concern to ISRI is lead/battery recycling because many of the organization's 1750 members accept batteries, according to Serls. They pay market value for batteries and then consolidate them to sell to secondary lead smelters that have obtained required EPA permits.

S. 2637 would make it illegal for an individual to deliver a battery to ISRI's processor members. Denied these available locations, the public would find it more difficult to have batteries returned to commerce, Serls said.
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Title Annotation:Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Aug 1, 1990
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