FCM crushes, dissects and recycles discarded gadgets
MONTREAL - High-tech gadgets and recycling have both been fast-growing industries in recent years and one local company has jumped into the lucrative overlap.
FCM Recycling has been growing at a steady pace since it tossed open its doors in Lavaltrie to recycle unwanted electronic devices in 1991. Soon after, the company also expanded into British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
“We started as a small company and then became a huge company, now we have six plants throughout Canada,” said Plant Manager Luc Chayer Jr.
The FCM folks aim to keep once-coveted items from polluting Mother Earth after their days come to an end.
“We want to be able to recycle everything that comes through the door, so nothing ends up in landfill,” said Chris Karambatsos, RCM Vice President.
Our once-loved high-tech gizmos are getting replaced at a record pace, meaning that devices are getting discarded sooner.
“What used to be a two-to-three year life cycle for a VCR is now an 18 month life cycle, for a DVD player it’s up to a six month life cycle,” said Andrew Rubin FCM Managing Director.
Many of the items contain precious metals like silver and gold, but not all.
“There's this misconception that everything found in electronics is valuable. You have a lot of materials that aren't valuable that have a cost associated with the recycling: mercury, leaded glass and things of that nature,” said Karambatsos
The Lavaltrie plant employs a large-scale shredder but has to exempt certain items from that deconstructive process.
“Certain things are not shreddable material essentially due to the hazards they create when they are shredded,” said Rubin. “There’s a lot of trial and error, there's no handbooks written on it so we have got to figure it out as we go.”