Toner cartridges comprise complex non-biodegradable polymers. The chain of complex bio-molecules emitted from electronic wastes, toner cartridges among them, are the biggest threat to the environment other than carbon emissions.
The polymers can take close to 100 years to decompose.
According to leading environmental science journals, about 18 million cartridges are thrown out every year. The figure being that of Australia alone.
This could be hundreds of billions of toner cartridges in landfills the world over. The irony is that these are cartridges that could as well be recycled to save the environment as well as unnecessary costs incurred in production.
With the budding amount of electronic wastes, it is of all time becoming ever more important to recycle rather than dump.
Recycle centers revamp or rather refurbish, refill, and then resell the toner cartridges, often at considerably lower prices.
In most cases, the results a user gets with a repaired toner cartridge are similar to such when she/he uses a branded toner cartridge.
Why Recycle Toner Cartridges
According to the publications, barely 15 percent toner cartridges are recycled every calendar year.
This translates to over 75,000 tons of cartridges in landfills in developed countries of Europe and the United States (US).
The reports also estimate about 300 million of the same are dumped in the two continents alone.
Further, studies also indicate a single toner cartridge requires approximately 1.5 kilograms of the engineering polymer materials to manufacture.
This simply means recycling and or reusing the cartridges can save the manufacturer so much in terms of resources and while at it keep the environment not only clean but also safe.
Other than cutting down production costs and keeping the environment clean, through buyback programs and toner cartridge refills, the buyer can also get a great deal of money saved as well.
There are numerous toner cartridge recycling programs and a variety of choices along with them. The secret here lies in choosing to dispose of your old toner cartridge in a responsible environmental friendly manner.
Learning how to recycle toner cartridges can be of great help to you and you can as well contribute to the protection of the environment in the following 3 simple ways: Company Recycling, Recycling Programs, and Selling of the Toner Cartridges.
1. Company Recycling
Brand toner cartridge manufacturing companies such as Canon, Lexmark, and Hewlett Packard (HP) have programs for recycling their cartridges.
The programs are generally available on their websites even though details and the specifics of each may vary from one product or company to another.
Most of these programs work through a program called the Planet Ark.
The program includes drop-off points at various participating retail stores. It should be noted most manufacturers only accept original cartridges. ..
In this case, users who may want to recycle third generation or rather generic cartridges may have to look for other recycling methods.
2. Recycling Programs
Recycling programs vary from recycling banks to recycling drives depending on relevant laws of the particular country.
In Australia for instance, users organize themselves in groups and offer a common drop-off point in the form of recycling banks.
Others are also known to offer curbside pick-ups for the e-wastes.
Due to the dissimilarity, local authorities should specify a preferable way of toner cartridge recycling in a given area. General practice however, is to drop-off toner cartridge at the bank then you send a mail indicating the same.
3. Refilling Toner Cartridges
Despite the above, many people still choose to refill their own toner cartridges. There are also companies that offer services, which include refilling cartridges and sending them back to the various customers.
Refilling is one other a way for consumers to save money they would have used on new cartridges as well as ensuring the environment remains clean and safe by reducing the amount of e-waste going into landfills.
It involves purchasing the right refill kits with the right toner and support equipment. The users should ensure the toner matches the one previously used in the printer.
They should also ensure the refill is compatible with the printer. Important to note is the fact toner cartridge refill route is a tedious procedure that requires one to be familiar with. Alternatively you may get services of a professional.
4. Buy Back Programs
While it is probable to recycle your toner cartridges through a recycling program, there are also organizations working independently who offer cash for empty toner cartridges.
Just like the recycling programs, buyback programs also vary from one location to another. Companies that are involved in this kind of a business normally offer a small amount of money for used toner cartridges, which they refill and re-sell for in most cases the full value of the original cartridge.
This is by far the best option for those who want something back from their cartridges without going through the trouble of refilling them on their own.
While this may not seem a traditional toner cartridge recycling method, it is a good way to ensure it stays in use for a long period of time before it can actually be dumped.