There is an old saying that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Of course this saying refers to what many would call junk or items that have little or no useful value to the owner. When it comes to recycling ink and toner cartridges the saying takes on an entirely different meaning. Whether a person is recycling these cartridges for an environmental reason or as a method to offset the cost of toner, there are several very solid reasons to recycle.
Each year over 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are thrown away with most ending up in landfills or in incinerators. That is about 11 cartridges per second and if you put those cartridges end-to-end they would circle the world three times. The large amount of waste can be reduced through simple reuse and recycling yet approximately only 30% of all ink cartridges and 50% of all toner cartridges are recycled today. The plastics used in printer cartridges are made of an engineering grade polymer that can take between 450 to 1,000 years to decompose. Also carbon black toner has been classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
By recycling printer cartridges, we conserve natural resources and energy by reducing the need for virgin materials. Up to 97 percent of the materials that make up a printer cartridge can be recycled or reused if taken care of. Printer cartridges can in extreme cases be refilled up to 15 times before reaching the end of their life and though most average between 5-7 refills.
There are numerous companies that focus on return programs that will help you return your used ink and toner cartridges at absolutely no cost. One such company is Green Cartridge Recycling which specializes in the collection and recycling of ink and toner cartridges. This company has truly found the “Treasure in the Trash” but more importantly is helping us improve the environment.
Take your efforts beyond the recycling bin.
April 22 will mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day marked to boost awareness about environmental responsibility. Earth Day has given many friends of the environment a platform from which to launch recommendations for being more green—at home and in their workspaces.
At the office, a greener workplace can mean a smaller environmental footprint, increased perception of corporate responsibility and even good news for the bottom line for many businesses, specifically when it comes to automating and digitizing paper based processes.
As we approach Earth Day, we want to give you seven great ways to make your office a greener, earth friendly environment, beyond the paper recycling bin.
1. Go Paperless
Digitize paper-based document information for digital storage, retrieval and access to information, reducing the dependency on paper and filing cabinets.
2. Energy Efficient Office Equipment
Advances in technology make for more energy efficient equipment and most equipment has energy saving functionality. Ask about these options when leasing or purchasing office equipment.
3. Eco-Friendly Toner & Toner Recycling Programs
Remanufactured toner cartridges and remanufactured ink cartridges are inspected and assembled to high quality standards for optimal performance in your equipment. Ask about recycled products as well as outlets to recycle your ink and toner cartridges.
This software integrates with your company’s print software and measure paper consumption in real time. Automatically offset your paper consumption through reforestation projects across the planet.
5. Print Output Management Solutions
Control paper at the point of printing with badge-swipe and user-authentication technology, requiring users to release print jobs and reducing wasted non-business critical printing.
6. On-Demand Printing
In-house digital printing capabilities have advanced to allow many print jobs previously outsourced to be completed in-house, and on-demand. Short, small run quantities of printed collateral eliminates the waste associated with printing large volumes of warehoused materials.
7. Manage Total Printing Costs with MPS
Evaluate your printing environment, develop the optimal plan for efficiently printing in your organization and control printing costs with a managed print services program. These programs require you to pay a flat monthly fee for equipment, service and supplies, and in return partners maximize efficiency of you print fleet.
It’s easy to start with reducing and recycling your paper consumption to go green. However, we encourage you to work with your office solutions provider to see how you can go beyond the recycling bin with your efforts to improve corporate responsibility and the corporate bottom line.