Would you believe that over 375 million used ink and toner cartridges are deposited in landfill sites throughout the United States each year? Those 375 million cartridges don’t even include the additional millions of empty cartridges that are burned or exported to third world countries.
Burning has become an increasingly popular way to “dispose” of the unwanted mass of printer cartridges and packaging elements. The problem is that the burning process creates pollution in the form of harmful ozone emissions. Conversely, shipping more of our waste overseas to third world countries only transfers our problem to the less fortunate who have fewer resources to deal with it.
Do you have a print cartridge recycling program in your office?
If not, you’re are not alone; and here lies the problem. Below are some shocking statistics to support the need for more organizations to provide some form of cartridge recycling program for their employees. It’s now easy to do and we include it at no charge to help our customers print greener.
Print Cartridge Recycling Statistics
- 60 – 80 percent of used toner cartridges go directly into trash cans and end up in landfill.
- It takes 400 to 1,000 years for a print cartridge to fully decompose in a landfill site.
- 70 percent of unrecycled print cartridge volumes are in the United States.
Consistently, when we perform our complimentary print assessment service for companies looking for ways to save money and reduce their carbon footprint, the lack of cartridge recycling is a very common opportunity for improvement. Surprisingly, the single most common reason we find people fail to recycle their used cartridges is because they don’t realize recycling is an option. When we ask people what they do with their used cartridges, they admit it doesn’t feel right placing a big plastic unit into a trash can but they do it anyway. These situations represent great opportunities to engage staff with recycling as part of a greener print strategy.
By recycling your used print cartridges, precious resources such as plastics may be reused to create other consumer products. For example, the plastic from print cartridges is now used to create plastic picture frames, park benches and the clothing hangers you too probably have in your home.
With the right partner, recycling cartridges is easy to do and even easier on the environment. Most of our customers take full advantage of our complimentary Zero Landfill recycling service that comes standard with our Managed Print Services and other imaging solutions.
Depending on the number of cartridges you may need to recycle, larger recycling boxes are available that can hold several cartridges to avoid causing more waste by shipping one cartridge at a time to our recycling destination.
For more on why print cartridge recycling is so important, we invite you to click here to view our video The Untold Truth About Print Cartridge Recycling.