About the Author and Ricky
The evolution of Ricky mirrors the arc of progress and evolution of Homo sapiens. Therefore, to truly know Ricky, we must first take a peek into his world before his existence.
Although today, it seems as if tablets, laptops and computers are an ubiquitous part of our everyday lives, before 1988 it’s hard to remember that computers were huge, bulky and limited in their placement. Their size was also reflected in the size of the Integrated Circuit chips. These large chips were transported by being placed into recyclable clear plastic tubes. As their technology evolved, they became smaller, less bulky, and the process of mounting them onto circuit boards also became less cumbersome. Using thinner silicon and shorter leads, Integrated Circuit chips (or ICs) could now be mounted onto boards in a much more efficient manner without piercing the boards. As with any leap in technology, this led to the development of new challenge – how to transport the smaller, more delicate chips without damaging them.
The challenge was quickly addressed with the development of the IC tray. A license plate size, slotted beauty constructed of a high grade thermal plastic was created to house multiple units of IC's of every type and size. The IC tray is a double-edged sword that provides safety from breakage to the tiniest circuits while also ensuring their quality and integrity through a moisture elimination process, baking them at high temperatures, prior to mounting them onto boards. Again, this was yet another big step in the evolution of the computer manufacturing industry, but there was still another challenge created as a result. The plastic used to manufacture trays is expensive and not recyclable, leading to an enormous number of trays ending up in landfills – a potential ecological disaster.
R Mitchel, Inc., a Los Angeles based dealer in recyclable materials ranging from scrap metal to discarded telecommunication materials, learned of the mounting quantities of IC trays that were tossed off as waste once their contents had been removed. While inspecting piles of discarded IC trays at a Los Angeles landfill, one IC tray jumped into the hands of entrepreneur, Dennis Brown. The tray introduced himself as "Ricky". Ricky told Mr. Brown of the concerns which plagued him and his fellow IC trays--how useful they still were, how helpful they could be to our environment, but alas, how futile was their current situation. Mr. Brown responded to this perky millennial creature by assuring him that he was there to resurrect Ricky and all his IC tray buddies from trash bins and landfills around the world, to his reclamation plant where they would be recycled, reused, and repurposed.
Ricky took on a new life as "spokestray" to the generation most affected by our use of integrated circuitry--smart phones, tablets, car dashboard technology, you name it--Ricky and his recycled and renewed IC tray pals are helping to fulfill the needs of today's widely used devices. Because of his vast experience as an IC tray who has really been "around the block", Ricky enjoys his role as a contributor to society on matters of great concern to present and future generations. With the help of Dennis Brown, Ricky stands ready to help send messages of social, environmental, and scientific awareness to everyone.