Here’s a look at some scenes from our Earth Day E-Waste Recycling Drive, as well as the normal operations of our on-site recycling center.
An early bird bicycling and recycling Chicagoan.
Jordan from Abt gets interviewed by CBS Chicago’s Vince Gerasole about how to properly recycle unwanted electronics.
Old computer monitors collected during the drive.
We also collected dozens of old tube TVs.
Back at Abt, the old electronics get sorted. This stack of computers is about to get wrapped in shrink wrap for shipping.
Goods are then packed into semi trailers. On an average day, we fill 5 full-length semi trailers.
Though we didn’t have anyone drop off a fridge, they are the one appliance we pick up the most of. Here, fridges wait to be recycled as part of ComEd’s Smart Ideas fridge recycling program.
ComEd offers a monetary reward to consumers who upgrade their fridges and get rid of old units that are wasting excessive energy. ComEd customers can find more info here: https://comed.opower.com/ei/app/tip/tip011_recycle_second_refrigerator
Hope there’s room for all of these fridges!
Sometimes the best course of action is not to recycle, but reuse. This discarded receiver and set of speakers got a new life as the stereo system inside the Abt Recycling Center.
We also take in and recycle all forms of packaging. Anything used in a delivery is returned to the store to be recycled.
Cardboard goes up this conveyor belt, into a compactor where it’s flattened and wrapped into a tight bale.
Each of these bales of cardboard weighs around 2000 lbs. A busy day produces multiple bales. We recycle about 80,000 lbs of cardboard a week.
Styrofoam, meanwhile, goes into a machine known as a densifier. The foam densifier melts down the foam and compresses it into thick paste, which gets packed into large bags and sent to a reprocessor to be made into things like playground equipment.
Each of these bags is filled with densified styrofoam, and has to be moved by a forklift. Because styrofoam is about 90% air, it’s quite heavy when totally compressed. Each of these bags weighs an average of 2500 lbs. We fill about 2 of these bags a week.
As the night closes in, the Recycling Center continues humming along.
We’d like to extend a great big thanks to everyone who participated in our Earth Day Recycling Drive and to anyone who ever takes the extra step to do what’s environmentally responsible. While Earth Day is a special event for Abt, we try to celebrate the Earth every day through a variety of environmentally-friendly initiatives. We welcome drop-offs of E-Waste at our Glenview location year-round, in case you missed the chance to come out to the temporary Chicago locations. And for our non-local fans, a great way to find out more about your area recycling programs is through this Recycling Locator at Earth911: http://search.earth911.com/.