Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Turning a bad thing into a good...

Just a few years ago, we all desired the biggest, brightest, high resolution CRT monitor money could buy. While they consumed most of our desk top, we covered them in post-it notes and learned the exact spot on the side to 'whack' when the picture wasn't quite right...

Then along came the CRT's greatest nemesis, the LCD flat screen. Suddenly, perfectly good working CRT monitors found themselves gathering dust in some forgotten part of the basement. Then there were more. And more. You get the picture (no pun intended) right?

In the 9 years we have been recycling electronics, we have seen the surplus monitor problem go from bad to extremely bad. In fact, you might be shocked to know how many of these have been made their way to the landfills already. Plus there are a LOT more in hiding.

So what's the solution? A dismantling facility just for computer monitors and television sets. In assembly line fashion the units are taken apart with plastic, boards, wire, steel and CRT tube all separated for recycling. There is not much scrap value- maybe a couple of bucks at best for the wire, steel and pc boards. The CRT tube has no scrap value. In fact it must be sent to an approved smelting facility to properly extract the silica glass and lead. Cost to do this averages around $2 for each CRT plus shipping, which adds an additional couple of dollars. Did I mention that you also need to pay your employees to take them apart?

As you can see the proper disposal of a CRT monitor or TV set is not just hazardous but expensive. Most legitimate recyclers charge around .35 cents per pound to process them which equates to about $10 for your average monitor. All things considered, its not a bad price to pay to keep them out of the landfills!