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.