Whenever people find out that I own and operate an e-scrap company the first thing that they always ask is how I deal with the CRT monitors. These units have gotten such a bad name because they were built without the environment in mind that many believe that they are the worst possible thing to happen to the e-scrap industry.
I tend to disagree with that assessment. While they are not high in value, if you have enough of them you can make some decent cash with very little hassle along the way.
So let’s take a look at how I have turned the dreaded CRT monitors into cash.
For most CRT monitors the heaviest thing is the tube and it is also the most difficult to get rid of. The tubes are leaded glass and some other elements inside, which makes them a problem for the environment.
It is important to note that you should not break the tube when you are tearing apart the CRT monitors. Breathing in the stuff from inside can be a very bad idea. I will outline how I tear them down without breaking the tube. (Yes there are a lot of videos on YouTube that show guys breaking the tubes that claim there is no harm but they are sidestepping the truth.)
The first order of business is to get the plastic casing off. In many instances this means taking out 4 screws and then just taking it off. However, some units have just 2 screws and then tabs. Nonetheless, it is not difficult to get the casing off. The plastic should be set aside and then sold to a polymer company. ABS, the plastic used to make the cases, sells for roughly.10 per pound and can go much higher if you have a lot of it.
Now that the case is off you will see the insides of the monitor. The tube comes to a point and there will be a metal covered circuit board attached to the fine point on the tube. This is where a lot of people make a mistake because they twist that circuit board off of there. You should actually just lift straight up and it will unplug itself from the tube. Set that circuit board aside.
Now you can easily see the item that provides the biggest money in CRT monitors, the copper yoke. These are very easy to remove. There will be two ring collars around the tube above the yoke that are held on with screws. Simply take those screws loose and remove the collars. At this point you should grab the yoke and twist. The adhesive that is holding the yoke will come loose and the yoke can then be slipped off of the tube. Set this aside for later disassembly.
Now it is time to remove the circuit board. As I have mentioned in other articles, this board is a low grade brown, which is the lowest on the scale of circuit boards. They sell in the area of.50 per pound to many scrap metal yards. Getting the circuit board off is simply a matter of looking for screws or pulling apart a couple of tabs. You will likely have to clip a few wires along the way.
Now all you have to do is remove the screws holding the tube to the front part of the case and then slip off the large loop of wire that is wrapped in black tape.
At this point you have a few decisions to be made concerning the circuit boards. There are some items that have a bit more value attached to them. There are transformers and cast or extruded aluminum pieces that are mounted on the boards. You can pull these off and separate them but this is a time consuming and not very rewarding process.
The wires can be clipped off with ease and sold with the rest of your wire.
For the copper yoke the disassembly is very easy. There is an iron ferrite collar that can be pried off and then thrown in with your scrap steel and iron. From there the plastic that holds it all together can be broken apart and you wind up with a pile of clean #2 copper that is ready for the scrap yard.
As for the tubes the process is very simple. There are several companies around the US that are now accepting the tubes as long as they are intact. They will not buy them but they will not charge like some were doing at one point either.
The rest of the material from a CRT can be sold for cash.