Living Green: Company gives new life to old electronics – KLAS

December 19, 2014 Posted by admin

LAS VEGAS – Tossing old computers, printers, televisions or cell phones is a waste of landfill space and a wasted opportunity to turn them into useful products.

A giant warehouse near Sunset Road and Buffalo Drive is stuffed with junked electronics. It looks like a cemetery for dead gadgets, but Bill Long, president of Square Peg Industries, says there is a lot of afterlife in yesterday’s outdated, unwanted technology.

“We are always looking to find opportunities to reuse and refurbish the life of electronics that come in,” he said.

Approximately 10 percent of his inventory can be resuscitated. Ninety percent of the items can’t be reused in their current state.

That’s when Square Peg gets to work; they are electronics recyclers.

“System disassemblers use drills, screw drivers and manual techniques in order to separate the components from scrap electronics that need to be disassembled,” Long said.

There is demand for nearly every part of tossed out televisions, hard drives, printers and laptops, especially the valuable commodities like precious metals and plastics that are used to make them.

Copper, aluminum and gold are some of the metals extracted from circuit boards of all kinds, shapes and sizes. They are sorted, separated and crated for buyers who know their true value. Some ingredients, however, can turn tech gadgets into hazardous waste.

“There are still quite a few circuit boards that we get in that may have lead in them,” Long said. “We need to separate (them) into different categories to be responsibly recycled.”

Keeping harmful e-waste out of the landfill is a healthy choice for the planet and for the economy by creating jobs.

“Proper recycling not only contributes to exports and the balance of trade, but also is a purely vibrant industry in the U.S. now – employing over 45,000 people full-time,” Long said.

Some jobs are meant for machinery. Long says he has a machine called “The Hammer” that pulverizes the competition when it comes to data destruction.

Safe and responsible recycling can be tedious and costly, but Long sees a healthy future for the business, if the tech industry and consumers all pitch in to make it part of a gadget’s natural life cycle.

“So, you have your chance to do the right thing and help give those old gadgets new life,” he said.

8 News NOW’s Super Recycle Event takes place Saturday, January 3, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Thomas and Mack Center. Televisions and CRT monitors will cost $20 each to recycle, but all other gadgets are free to recycle. There will also be free document shredding.

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