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Posting Date: 05-26-2010
South Suburban News
Intercon takes giant steps to save the environment
Did you ever wonder what happened to that old computer you set out to be hauled away, or something else you saw as pretty useless?
There is a good possibility that instead of winding up in an area landfill, that old piece of whatever found its way to Chicago Heights and Intercon Solutions.
Intercon’s CEO Brian Brundage explained the company processes between 100 million and 150-million pounds of old computers, plastics and countless other items that once overburdened landfills.
The company handles that massive amount with about 60 employees – warehouse and administrative- in a facility the size of several football fields.
In an era when employee benefits and perks are being pared by many companies, Intercon is counter-cyclical. The company caters lunch every day for its employees, there is an on-site fitness center with free weights and weight stations, as well as a pool table and ping pong table in the warehouse.
Brundage said that his personal philosophy is to have employees “as fit as they want to be.” He added that because they get an hour for lunch many of them spend part of that time working out. Some use their breaks to get in a few minutes on the machine.
He added that once the company had an outdoor inflatable pool and beach chairs, but removed them as fewer employees were using them.
To enhance the health options, Intercon pays for whatever products an employee wants to use to quit smoking. “If it’s gum, the patch, or even hypnosis, the company picks up the cost,” Brundage said.
Besides the food and fitness options, Brundage said he tries to make Intercon a more attractive place to work by offering flexible starting times. “They can start at 7 a.m. or 9 a.m., and that earlier time is great, say if a guy has date night with his wife.”
Intercon is able to attract business from federal government agencies and Fortune 500 companies because Brundage is insistent the company maintains industry certifications such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, The National Association for Information Destruction and several others.
The designations and Brundage’s practice of making sure everything is done uniformly has helped the company grow across the U/S. and into Europe. Intercon has sites in Toronto, Vancouver, London as well as California, Florida and North Carolina. The Chicago Heights facility is the only one that processes what Brundage describes as e-waste.
He said it’s critical that processing be centralized so that customers can get the best service.
The designations also led to the company getting jobs from the federal government. And that means tightened security throughout the building. Visitors must be escorted by an employee when going anyplace in the building
Computers and other salvageable items will continue to be tossed, and Intercon will still take them, “demanufacture” raising the profile of the country, and lowering the amount of trash that goes into landfills.
Special to the South Suburban News
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