Do Your Part: The Big Impact of Toner Recycling

Electronic waste is one of the fastest-growing types of waste in today’s environment—and one of the most dangerous. From computer components to mobile devices, flash drives to batteries, electronic devices and their constituent parts are being used—and thrown away—more than ever before. Printer cartridges are a major contributor to the electronic waste problem. In North America alone, over 350 million printer cartridges end up in landfills each year. Not to mention, the entire process before the cartridge even gets to your office—drilling for oil, refining, shipping, manufacturing the cartridge, packaging, delivery, and sales.

With such an impact resulting from just a single printer cartridge, a little effort on your part can go a long way. A toner recycling program involving the toner cartridges you use will have a positive impact on the environment.

Disposal and Waste – Let’s start at the end—the final destination of a printer cartridge and its waste. It’s estimated that each laser printer in your office produces about 100 pounds of waste each year.  The majority of that waste ends up in landfills, where—for cartridges made from specialized non-biodegradable plastics—they take 1,000 years to filly decompose. Disposal also contaminates the surrounding environment—landfill-based cartridges can leach toxins into the ground, while incineration produces poisonous air pollution.

Production and Raw Materials – It takes approximately three quarts of oil to produce a single toner cartridge, and production of toner cartridges also takes its toll on energy and water. Fortunately, cartridges can be refilled as many as a dozen times, slashing the cost in raw materials, water usage, and energy expenditure. With consistent efforts, you can save as many as nine gallons (36 quarts!) of oil through recycling a single cartridge. Every component saves raw materials—the plastics, metals, and inks from a used cartridge can all be reclaimed and reused.

While technological strides for greener offices continue to advance, we can do our part for the environment today by simply recycling the toner cartridges we use. Consistently applied, this small habit can have a huge impact. Contact Infomax today to get a toner recycling program underway in your organization.

Why Recycle Toner Cartridges?

In a perfect world, businesses would never produce waste. After all, waste is not only bad for the environment, it’s also bad for the pocketbook. Because of how prevalent waste can be, oftentimes businesses overlook easy steps that could reduce their waste, such as recycling toner cartridges.

Here are some of the benefits of recycling those old toner cartridges.

  • Reducing emissions: By recycling toner cartridges, you help reduce the more than 40,000 tons of plastic and metal that goes into landfills, meaning you are also reducing air and water emissions. Landfilling, incineration, and the manufacturing of new cartridges are all cut down when you recycle your cartridges.
  • Conserving natural resources: Recycling means that you are taking part in a global effort to reduce the need for raw materials. This way, resources such as water, timber, oil, and minerals are being used less.
  • Saving energy: The amount of energy consumed when unneeded waste must be processed is astronomical. This is because the energy required to make a new cartridge is several times that of simply reusing or recycling an old one. Currently, only 20-40% of empty cartridges are recycled, meaning up to 80% go to landfills.
  • Improving quality: Saving the planet is great, but your business must still rely on high-quality cartridges. Fortunately, recycled cartridges are just as reliable as new ones. Also, recycled cartridges are cheaper. This way, you are saving money in multiple areas, and helping to reduce the 300 million cartridges that are thrown away each year.
  • Simplifying the process: Many businesses hesitate to begin recycling their cartridges, for fear that it is a tedious task. After all, business are busy places, and who needs one more thing to worry about? The reality is that recycling toner cartridges is easier than ever and can quickly be incorporated into your business.

Several of Infomax’s vendors accept toner cartridges for recycling. Click here to learn more, or contact us directly to learn more about the benefits of recycling toner cartridges and how you can get started.