Do you just throw your old toner cartridges away? In order to prevent them from joining the millions of cartridges per year that end up in landfills, make the easy decision to recycle your cartridge instead. You might already recycle paper and plastic bottles, so take advantage of the toner cartridge recycling programs available to you, as well.
The plastic that ink cartridges are made of may take between 500 – 1,000 years to decompose, and making a new one requires the use of valuable fossil fuels. Recycling toner cartridges may seem like a small step to help the environment, but the more people that start to recycle their cartridges, the bigger difference it makes.
The mass of toner cartridges thrown away each year in landfills is equivalent of over 100,000 Volkswagen Beetles. Encourage people and businesses you know to look into recycling their old toner cartridges in order to multiply your positive impact.
[Read also: How to Dispose of Old Computer Equipment]
What happens to the toner cartridge after you recycle it? Many kinds of recyclable products are melted down or somehow changed to make new products. This isn’t the case with recycled cartridges, which are reconditioned and refilled.
When a cartridge is recycled, it is taken to a remanufacturing plant, taken apart and inspected. Any worn or damaged parts are replaced. All components are thoroughly cleaned, and the cartridge is then refilled with high-quality fresh toner. All reconditioned toner cartridges are thoroughly inspected for quality to make sure they meet the highest standards. They are then packed and sealed for selling.
Make the Switch
Remanufactured toner cartridges can be 30 to 50 percent less expensive than brand new ones, so they’re not only better for the environment, but they can save you or your business in printing cost, too. Large companies can benefit from huge savings by switching to recycled toner cartridges for their printing. Recycled toner cartridges are less expensive because the raw materials for the cartridge are already provided, so producing them is relatively inexpensive. Remanufactured toner cartridges are reliable as they are subject to the same standards of performance.
There are many recycling programs available to consumers through either toner manufacturers or third party vendors. Many stores provide a free recycling service for old toner cartridges. Be sure to explore the many options available for recycling before you toss your cartridge into the garbage.
Cartridges of all sizes can be recycled. If your business has a lot of cartridges that you want to recycle, sort them by manufacturer. The best way to find out whether or not your cartridges are recyclable is to refer to the packaging or instructions that came with it – or check online.
Many post offices can provide you with a special plastic envelope that you can use to send your empty cartridge to a recycling service. No matter how big or small your old toner cartridge may be, be sure to recycle it. Take responsibility for your recyclable waste.
[Recommended read: Three Ways You Can Recycle Your Unused Gadgets]