The best of the worst: The dirty IT jobs hall of shame

We've sifted through the sewage and vermin to bring you the 14 all-time dirtiest jobs in IT

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The best of the worst: The dirty IT jobs hall of shame
Dirty IT job No. 9: Systems sanitation engineer Beer cans. Food wrappers. Cigarette butts. Moldy bread. You'd typically find them in the bottom of your average dumpster -- only in this case, the dumpster is the shell of a discarded computer.

Beer cans. Food wrappers. Cigarette butts. Moldy bread. You'd typically find them in the bottom of your average dumpster -- only in this case, the dumpster is the shell of a discarded computer.

It's all part of the job at Redemtech, an IT asset disposition firm that processes the aging hardware Fortune 500 companies no longer want. Somebody has to go through each piece and muck it out, decide what can be saved and what must be discarded, says Chomroeun "C-Ron" Sith, technical supervisor for Redemtech's Grove City, Ohio, facility (and no relation to the Dark Lord).

Though it varies widely, Sith says approximately half of the systems he sees can be refurbished and resold. The other half gets recycled in an environmentally responsible way. Before that happens, they have to be inspected and cleaned  -- and that's where things can get nasty.

"Some of these things look like they've been sitting the back of a warehouse for years," he says. "They come in covered in dust, with cobwebs, rat droppings, and roaches inside. Sometimes they're so rusted that when you pick them up your hands turn orange. One of the systems we got in was covered in makeup. Every time my guys touched it, they got all glittery."

Then there was the time they opened up a desktop CPU and found a dead animal. "It may have been a rodent or a bird," he says. "We couldn't tell for sure. But it was definitely dead."

Sith estimates less than 5 percent of the 6,000 to 10,000 items his facility processes each week arrive in such bad shape they have to be wrapped in plastic to avoid infecting his staff or causing allergic reactions. Still, that's plenty.

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