Before you toss out that broken TV or chuck your old coffee maker, think about where it will go -- probably into a landfill. Well, one suburban company is trying to keep those parts in production.
It may look like hard labor, but it is actually delicate work. These men are disassembling calculators -- piece by piece. In this area, it's a breakdown of plasma TVs.
"We break everything down. We recycle everything down to the last form," said De'Antone Pridgen, Intercon Solutions.
At Intercon Solutions in south suburban Chicago Heights, they use a process called "de-manufacturing" to make sure each component of an electronic device is properly recovered.
"As a unit would be manufactured using aluminum, stainless, copper whatever those components were to put that together. We're simply demanufacturing it and taking it apart to those raw metals and components," said Brian Brundage, CEO, Intercon Solutions.
Intercon sells those scraps domestically so they can be used in manufacturing new products here in the US. Their process also can eliminate safety concerns in devices that hold sensitive information -- like ATMs and home computers.
"We take those memories out and crush them down, break them down so there's no way your information that you save on your internal memory, on your CPU would end up in someone else's hands," said Damario Walker, warehouse manager, Intercon Solutions.
Properly disposing of so-called "e-waste" may also prove safer for the environment.
"All electronics contain a printed circuit board. The printed circuit board the base metal is lead. So putting those in a landfill makes no sense whatsoever. There are many people that say those lead products will eventually contaminate the groundwater," Brundage said.
You can drop off any electronic device or appliance for recycling or you can arrange for a pick-up.