Unlike Any Store You Have Ever Experienced
Main Content

Abt Electronics: The Greenest A/V Retailer In The Country

Putting Lights On Sensors And Recycling Paper Is One Thing, But Chicago's Abt Has Its Own Recycling Plant And Runs Its 350,000-Square-Foot Store Completely Off The Grid.

And you think you run a green business.

No other specialty A/V retailer in the country runs a greener shop than Abt Electronics in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, Ill.

Loading docks in 2010 at Abt's Recycling Center First of all, the 350,000-square-foot namesake store is "completely off the grid," says principal Mike Abt, a self-professed hippie.

During a recent tour of the store, Abt showed off power central. "It’s like a nuclear facility back here," he says.

Biodiesel fuels the facility, but Abt nevertheless has a couple of wind turbines and solar panels for good measure. The company is starting to sell and install these products.

Power controls at Abt's on-site power plant. "Whatever the next new power thing is," he says, "we’re on it."

Next door to the store is an 8,000-square-foot recycling plant. Virtually everything that Abt sells can be recycled – from dishwashers to TVs to the boxes and Styrofoam they came in.

Styrofoam recycling processor at Abt's Recycling Center I don’t want to have any [leftover] garbage at all," says Abt.

In fact, he says, "We’re one of the few companies that recycle Styrofoam."

The Styrofoam is heated up and dispensed as a thick stream of goo, which hardens into something like a plastic ruler. The hard stuff is ground up into pieces, and then sold as insulation.

Scrap metal is fairly lucrative these days – about $215 per ton

Abt Wind Turbine seen through Atrium Mall Abt recycles gear from its own customers, of course, but it also accepts junk from the general public.

Abt Solar Panel In Atrium Mall By law, no Illinois recycler including Abt can charge for electronics recycling. Abt gets reimbursed from participating manufacturers, but eats the cost on everything else.

In the end, he says, the Abt recycling plant just about breaks even.

Besides the feel-goodliness of recycling, though, there is a possible side benefit: "We might get the customer to buy from us when they drop something off," Abt says.

Oh, and one more thing. Abt has its own car wash to clean the company trucks. The water, naturally, is recycled.

More Information Here

©2010 CE Pro