What is this cartridge recycling thing all about?
Yeah, you might have heard about printer cartridge recycling. In layman’s terms, it’s a way of getting the cartridge refilled or if that can’t be done, send it back to its manufacturer. But have we really given a thought on why exactly do we recycle it at all. And in case we really know why, how can it be done? Here are certain pointers on this very topic.
Why is recycling critical?
Let’s face it; cartridges are pollutants to the core. But how do they spread pollution? Here is the thing. The plastic material required to make ink cartridges have architectural quality polymers as its prime constituent. These polymers are hazardous to the environment and to top that, they take anything between 450-1000 years in order to decay. So if these cartridges are dumped in landfills or thrown in water bodies, just imagine how much pollution they can cause. All this makes recycling of cartridges critical.
How the cartridge businesses are contributing to the cause
As a matter of fact, since last few years or so, cartridge manufacturers and retailers worldwide have started taking a very serious approach towards their recycling. What some of them do is, enclose a freepost envelope with every cartridge pack. So as and when the cartridge gets empty, all we need to do is put that cartridge in that envelope and post it. Rest is their headache.
Certain cartridge retailers like Cartridge WorldÂ have programs up and running, in which they encourage local community organizations and schools to raise funds by collecting empty recycled cartridges and returning them to Cartridge World. What these entities would get in return would be anything in the range of $0.01 to $15 depending on the condition of the cartridge. They have also initiated refill awards. All that is required is to go to any Cartridge World store and get your cartridge refilled at really affordable prices.
All major cartridge manufacturers have their own online supplies recycling program running. HP, for example provides a way for cartridge users to conveniently return what they consider a total waste to HP. The company can also arrange for pallet pickup for your cartridges; however, there are certain conditions to that. Xerox also has a similar program running on its site.
Here’s what we as individuals can do
We as end users have equal onus in making sure that the cartridges that we use are recycled and not just landfilled. To do that here’s what we can do, of course, apart from getting our cartridges recycled:
- We can run a marketing campaign on cartridge recycling. Involve your colony friends, companies in your neighborhood, even your parents in it. Try to make them aware of the ways it can be done.
- We can send e-mails on why recycling of cartridges is critical for the environment to whom-so-ever you know.
- Run online campaign activities on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., and spread awareness about cartridge recycling.
Here are certain facts on the negative side. In spite of all the efforts by cartridge manufacturers and retailers, more than 50% of toner cartridges and more than 70% of ink cartridges are not recycled on worldwide basis. And to top it all, more than 375 million cartridges are dumped in the landfills worldwide. All this indicates one thing, the efforts being made so far are not enough to say the least.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of individuals, organizations, and entities alike to get their used cartridges recycled. After all we just have one earth and we should make every ounce of our effort to preserve it.