Jan. 4—Unwanted electronics and computer parts mean a little extra money for Shawn McCaig.
McCaig, a postal worker, spends his spare time recycling such items as servers, LCD monitors, cell phones, flat screen TVs and other electronic equipment.
"I don't make a lot, but I do make enough to buy groceries," he said. "It's a hobby that helps me make a little more grocery money."
He said he picks up equipment in bulk from businesses then breaks down the components in his barn north of Fort Gibson.
"I basically work a triangle from Tahlequah, Wagoner and Muskogee," he said.
McCaig said he doesn't charge to pick up the items. Nor does he buy the items.
"A normal guy that does what I do is going to charge $150 to 200," he said. "They're going to take this stuff and chuck it in the dumpsters."
He separates the circuit boards from the base metals.
"When I get enough to fill a trailer with the base metals, I take it to a scrap yard," he said.
He said he ships the circuit boards to places that buy them for further recycling. McCaig said he has buyers in Ohio and Florida.
"They're going to strip all the individual components off this board," he said. "They're going to refine it down for the precious metals that are inside."
The work also means a cleaner environment.
"A piece of electronic equipment today contains one of literally hundreds of toxic chemicals or elements that are dangerous to our environment," he said. "They go to a landfill, they get buried up. Over time, they break down, they get into the water stream. That pollutes the water. They pollute plant life. Obviously, the chemicals are bad for human beings and animals."
For example, magnetrons, which heat food in microwave ovens, contain beryllium, which could cause cancer if the dust is ingested, McCaig said.
"Electronics are full of this stuff," he said. "Being environmentally conscious, rather than throw this stuff in a dump and pollute the environment, this stuff can be repurposed. If it is reusable, it can be reused in a new life. If it is not reusable, it can be sent to a company that can break it down and repurpose it for a second product." ================================================================== I think Methinks post #247018 is very important, and relevant to this post!
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