Earth Day 2020 - Recycling Ink and Toner Cartridges

Copiers and printers are a necessity for every business.  We all print documents and make copies in order to conduct operations. Per Energy Central, more than 375 million cartridges are thrown away every  year, with many of them ending up in landfills around the world. 375 MILLION! That's more than a million cartridges every day or eleven cartridges per second! Even more concerning is that it takes up to 1,000 YEARS for a print cartridge to fully decompose in a landfill.

Recycling toner cartridges is done at special recycling facilities where the components can be disposed of properly, while parts that can be reused are processed and added back to the production process.  The question for many businesses is how the heck do I go about recycling the cartridges then?  Fraser's Green Toner Recycling Program that provides clients with free, prepaid shipping labels.  When it's time to dispose of cartridges, just box them up, stick on the label and put it in the mail.  It couldn't be easier!  And if your company is a high volume user, you can even have palette pickup done for your locations.  Contact our Smart Connect Team for more information.

At the end of the day, the question we all ask is why should we recycle our ink and toner cartridges.  Isn't it just easier to toss them in the trash?  Here are some compelling reasons for a toner recycling program.

  1. Prevent waste in landfills.  As stated above, toner and ink cartridges do not degrade quickly in a landfill.  It takes about a thousand years for the cartridges to return to their original elements.  When you consider the amount of cartridges (375 million) piling up in landfills, and how long it takes for them to degrade, the sheer volume of waste alone is reason enough to recycle. In many high population areas, landfill space is quite limited.  This means those areas are shipping their trash to landfills in other areas, and that process generates hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide pollution.  By recycling your cartridges, you can keep landfills less full and save the environment from air pollution.  
  2. Save resources.  You fully understand by now the waste of empty toner cartridges, but did here's another statistic to boggle your brain.  To manufacture a new laser toner cartridge, a manufacturer uses three quarts of oil.  In every day terms, the average car requires five to eight quarts of oil, depending on the size of the car's engine.  So for quick math's sake, let's just say the oil that it takes to make TWO new laser cartridges could power an automobile for 3,000-5,000 miles!  Right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, the price of oil is way down, but that won't continue to be the case.  According to A Greener Refill, recycling all of the used inkjet and laser cartridges for just seven months could save approximately 11 MILLION GALLONS of oil! This will sound like a fantastic way to save oil when we're back to paying $2.75 for a gallon of gas soon!
  3. Lower costs.  Because of toner recycling programs, toner cartridges can be remanufactured by ink producers.  By remanufacturing the cartridges, producers spend far less to manufacture new toner, and that means lower prices for remanufactured toner products when you need to purchase toner.  We all want to save money when possible, and remanufactured toner can provide businesses with a cost savings.

So on this Earth Day 2020, these are just a few reasons why recycling ink and toner cartridges can help the environment.  If your business is interested in learning how to start recycling your toner cartridges, check out our Green Toner Recycling Program.  Participants in the program receive a certificate of participation as well as an annual sustainability report to keep track of their progress.  The report includes an impact summary that describes the total quantity of toner cartridges recycled, as well as statements that quantify how your company is lessening its impact on the environment.