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Look | What Happens to Your Electronics: Inside An E-Recycling Plant : Slideshow

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Tracey Samuelson/WNYC

4th Bin co-founders Michael Deutsch and John Kirsch load e-waste into a rented U-Haul truck. They weigh and inventory each item before trucking it to their Harlem facility, where it is sorted by type and prepared for pick-up by Mount Vernon-based We Recycle!, a recycler that deals exclusively with e-waste.

Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
John Kirsch picks keyboards out of a bin of e-waste to weigh and load onto his truck.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
Kirsch detangles the chord of an old keyboard before stacking it on top of other e-waste items for weighing.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC

Kirsch helps unload e-waste at the company’s storage facility in Harlem. The items — including a Gateway computer from the New School, tagged with a yellow sticker — were collected from nine different pick-up locations and will be grouped by type to prepare for recycling.

Tracey Samuelson/WNYC

Inside 4th Bin’s Harlem storage facility, e-waste is grouped by type and prepared for recycling.

Tracey Samuelson/WNYC

Michael Deutsch, right, straddles an old Gateway computer tower in his company’s Harlem storage facility, beside operations manager Aristides Baez, left. WNYC tagged the computer with a yellow sticker in order to follow it through the recycling process.

Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
We Recycle! driver Hector Gonzalez picks-up a box of e-waste collected by the 4th Bin and prepares to transport it back to his company’s warehouse in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC

In the We Recycle! warehouse in Mount Vernon, N.Y., the first stop in the recycling process for this Gateway computer is the harvest department. Robert Marcial, a disassembly technician, removes the machine’s circuit boards. 

Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
We Recycle! supervisor Carlos Jorge prepares to drop the Gateway computer on a conveyor belt leading into a large shredder.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
The Gateway computer, along with a medium-sized printer, rides a conveyor belt leading into a large shredder.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
After shredding, the chewed-up pieces of computers and other e-waste are sorted by magnets and other machines.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
After shredding, the chewed-up pieces of computers and other e-waste are sorted by magnets and other machines.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
After shredding, the chewed-up pieces of computers and other e-waste are sorted by magnets and other machines.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
Shredded pieces of metal from e-waste are grouped together and bagged. We Recycle! will sell the pieces to another recycler, who will melt the metal down to make new products and devices.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
Shredded pieces of circuit boards from e-waste are grouped together and bagged. We Recycle! will sell the pieces to another recycler, who will recover precious metals from the boards.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
Shredded pieces of plastic from e-waste are grouped together and bagged. We Recycle! will sell the pieces to other recyclers, who will melt the plastic down to make new products and devices.
Tracey Samuelson/WNYC
A bag full of shredded circuit boards is ready to be sold to another recycler, who will recover precious metals from the boards.

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