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Sims Recycling Solutions

Sims Recycling Solutions and DTSC Reach Settlement

SRS and DTSC have reached an agreement to resolve issues resulting from SOVs issued following August 2011 and March 2015 site inspections at the SRS facility in Roseville, Calif.

Sims Recycling Solutions (SRS), a provider of global IT asset disposition (ITAD) services, and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) have reached an agreement to resolve issues resulting from Summary of Violations (SOVs) issued following August 2011 and March 2015 site inspections at the SRS facility in Roseville, Calif.

The settlement, which relates to large-scale indoor electronics shredding operations that were previously conducted at the facility, is made out of a desire to avoid costly, protracted litigation and consists of a $275,000 civil penalty and a payment of $125,000 to reimburse DTSC for its costs incurred in this matter. Before the settlement was reached, Roseville promptly addressed any issues identified by DTSC and made the move in 2016 to no longer operate the shredder.

As is typical of all DTSC court-approved settlements, DTSC filed a complaint after the settlement was agreed upon, lodging the settlement stipulation with the court. The stipulation settles all the claims made by DTSC in that complaint. While SRS agreed to settle this matter through the stipulation, it did not admit to any of the allegations or claims made in the complaint or stipulation. Most of those claims related to dust, either "baghouse dust" collected from the shredding process or fugitive dust that was present in the air around the shredder.

Based on prior DTSC concurrence going back to 2007, Roseville believed it was entitled to manage the baghouse dust as an "excluded recyclable material" based on the valuable recoverable metals that are contained in the dust. According to DTSC, it subsequently changed its interpretation of the recycling provisions and withdrew the earlier approval, but it did so without advising Roseville. DTSC also asserted that the use of an atomized water misting system to control temperature and remove residual dust from the air around the shredder violated a prohibition against the addition of water to the "treatment" (shredding) process.

"All issues have long since been resolved, and SRS has since moved on from that Roseville shredder-based business," said Steve Skurnac, president of SRS, in a statement.

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