UPDATE June, 2015: MR. CARTRIDGE HAS NOW KEPT MORE THAN400,000 PRINTER CARTRIDGES OUT OF THE LANDFILL! AND… WE WILL NOW RECYCLE YOUR OLD PRINTER!
We learned about environmentally-friendly practices for small businesses initially through running our own business.
As we provided, supplied and serviced our customers’ office equipment — ink and laser printers, copiers and fax machines — we realized that there was a considerable amount of needless waste involved. Literally thousands of perfectly recyclable cartridges, for example, were simply thrown out because no one offered a simple way to recycle and reuse them.
It’s estimated that 375 MILLION used ink and toner cartridges end up in U.S. landfills every year. That’s only in the U.S.! We can’t find stats for Canada, but you can bet that it’s comparable.
Because we are in the business of refilling and reusing ink and toner cartridges, we realized what an utter waste this is. There is absolutely no reason to just discard a used printer cartridge. They are 100% recyclable and can either be refilled or at least renovated for reuse.
And there is no reason you can’t have as good performance or better from a refilled or remanufactured printer cartridge.
A single ink cartridge consumes about a gallon of oil to produce.
Each year in North America, more than 40,000 metric tons of plastic and metal is saved as a result of cartridge recycling.
For every 100,000 used cartridges recycled, we can save:
9599 kilograms of aluminum
40 tons of plastic
1,000,000 litres of oil
Printer cartridge recycling has virtually become synonymous with successful sustainable development.
That’s only for printer cartridges. Think what we can do if we apply the same principles to everything we do in our small businesses!
From the US Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program information:
By using re-manufactured toner cartridges in printers and switching to a toner system for the fax machine, Applied Specialties, Inc. in Ohio saved $600 and eliminated 260 pounds of waste. E-mail and double-sided copies also saved the company $320 and decreased paper waste by 500 pounds.
Many programs have been implemented in the United States and Europe to encourage the recycling of ink cartridges. New York has a recycling law for businesses and consumers regarding toner and ink cartridges. In California the Public Contract Code (PCC) section 12156 encourages businesses to purchase recycled ink and toner cartridges.
Here are few facts about toner and ink cartridges and the impact they have on the environment.
Green House Gases emissions from manufacturing a single mono toner cartridge have been calculated to be approximately 4.8 kg CO2; per cartridge. This is for the cartridge only and excludes the toner inside. The Life Cycle Assessment of toner reveals that the GHG emissions are approximately 16 metric tons per 1 metric ton toner produced. On average a cartridge with a yield of 5000 pages contains 200 grams toner. This equals 3.2 kg CO2 emission per cartridge.
- Each year over 350 million cartridges are disposed of in landfills.
Almost all printer cartridges can either be refilled or re-manufactured. Using refilled or re-manufactured cartridges can reduce your running costs and help the environment by reducing the number of cartridges that go to landfill – every year millions of empty printer cartridges are needlessly thrown away.
- Here are a few good reasons why it is so important to “refill and re-use” rather than disposing of your cartridge:
Over 45 million cartridges go into landfill sites each year.
Each cartridge thrown into landfill can take up to 1000 years to decompose.
In just 12 months, cartridge recycling could save 15 million litres of oil.
* Source: Wikipedia article on cartridges