Name: Erick Ruiz, 16, of Somers Point

Education: Junior at Mainland Regional High School

Family: Single

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Company: Greenway Computers, 606 New Road, Somers Point

Position: Electronics recycler

Phone: 609-788-4300

Erick Ruiz came to Somers Point with his family two years ago from North Jersey.

This area is a lot quieter than where he grew up, he said, and he likes it that way.

He's interested in computers and electronics, so he got a summer job working four days a week at Greenway Computers in town.

Greenway repairs computers and televisions, performs secure data destruction, refurbishes and resells computers and televisions, and recycles electronics.

Computer and other electronics are produced in massive quantities nowadays and need to be recycled to protect public health and the environment, says the National Center for Electronics Recycling. Recycling conserves natural resources by recovering and reusing valuable material from the electronics.

That's where Greenway and Erick Ruiz come in.

Erick demanufactures computers by manually dismantling them to recover the recyclable raw materials and parts in them.

Using a drill and hand tools, he said, he removes the drives, metal and plastic pieces, some for reuse but most for recycling.

"You have to wears gloves and goggles, because you can cut your fingers. And when you try to break something off, the pieces can fly up and hurt your eye," he said.

Sometimes he gets an old server or radio to break down. "I occasionally find some weird disks in them. It looks cool but as far as performance, it was like nothing," he said.

Career goals: After graduating from high school, Erick plans to join the U.S. Army to continue his technology training.

"That will open more doors for me, more opportunities," he said. "I want to work on computers, and that's easier for me than going to college for it."

Entry: Erick used to work in construction with his father and brothers, but "I just didn't care for it."

He said he likes taking apart and recycling electronics. "It's not very hard, but you've got to do it right."

Erick said he's learning more about computers while at Greenway this summer. "I'd like to learn how to build a computer and fix a laptop."

Erick said he likes "to chill, play basketball and football, or watch TV if nobody's available to play sports. I also play a couple of video games."

Business editor Kevin Post


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