Arc Tech in Broward Recycles Electronics, Employs Individuals With Disabilities | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


Arc Tech in Broward Recycles Electronics, Employs Individuals With Disabilities

End-of-life technology is recycled safely at Arc Tech.
End-of-life technology is recycled safely at Arc Tech. Courtesy photo
Each time the next cool computer/electronic thingamajig comes out, you’re excited to have a new toy and ditch the old ones. But what happens to that sad, suddenly outdated electronic gadget you loved yesterday? Will it inevitably collect dust at home or the office? It should probably be recycled, and there’s a uniquely excellent option in South Florida. 

For more than 15 years, Arc Tech — an enterprise of the nonprofit Arc Broward — has provided IT asset disposal in the region. In addition to providing asset disposal and recycling programs, the nonprofit also trains and prepares local employees with disabilities for jobs at its warehouse through its Arc Educates vocational program.

“Arc has a number of programs for people who want to work in various fields,” says Brian Oullette, vice president of social enterprises for Arc Broward. “One happens to be a program to master skills for a light industrial environment. They come in, sit through classes, put in lab hours with tests, and then apply what they’ve learned in our warehouse.”

From 2002 to 2014, Arc Tech had a contract with Broward County, primarily to process household electronics. In 2014, the enterprise expanded to begin working with companies in the corporate world. Locally, Arc Tech's clients include or have included the likes of Ultimate Software, DHL, and AutoNation.

For those looking to ditch an old chunk of technology, Arc Tech’s recycling facility is located in Fort Lauderdale, a stone’s throw north of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. A residential pick-up can also be scheduled.

Its recycling facility accepts most electronics, with a few exceptions. As of March 1, it no longer accepts CRT TV sets, monitors, and projection TVs. To mitigate environmental hazards and ensure proper processing, there are also small fees for recycling floor copy machines/printers ($50), desktop printers ($10), and flat-screen TVs ($25).

All received items undergo a strict data security process, including 24-hour surveillance, sophisticated data erasure, and the usage of the Ameri-Shred AMS-2000 Hard Drive Shredder, where applicable. Refurbished items are sold, some of which are available on a dedicated eBay page. Funds raised go toward job training, earned income from operations, and Arc Broward’s broader activities.

Just last month, Arc Tech became the fourth member of the social enterprise Impact Recyclers, further expanding the local nonprofit’s reach. The group is composed of fellow IT asset managers throughout the nation dedicated to helping people with barriers find work. Its members include Homeboy Electronics Recycling in California and Tech Dump in Minnesota.

“It’s another way to get our name out there,” Oullette says. “We collaborate weekly and are collectively taking our missions to a national level.”

Arc Tech. 3300 SW 13th Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-577-4160; Residential drop-offs Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.