The current drive to recycle or repurpose CRT glass is leading the e-scrap industry into uncharted territory. CRT glass has lost its marketability and, with that, the e-scrap industry has lost its answer for the recycling of the CRTs.
The current regulatory system, however, is based on the idea that if original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have to pay for recycling, they will find a way to ensure recycling takes place. While this may be true for more modern products, this is not the case for CRTs.
On the surface, CRT glass is most valuable when treated as silica. But silica happens to be one of the most ubiquitous minerals on earth and that means supply of it is abundant. What's more, the particular blend of silica derived from CRT glass contains toxics – namely lead – that make it far less attractive to recover and reuse.