Legal Law

Recycling cartridges: the environmental and economic benefits

Did you know that a staggering 200,000,000 empty cartridges are thrown away in the UK each year and that a single empty cartridge could take centuries, if not millennia, to decompose? With the price of oil on the rise, you have to be careful when using these cartridges as it takes approximately three quarts of oil to make a single cartridge. Thats not all; The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified carbon black toner as a carcinogen, making it a hazardous landfill material.

It’s easy to recycle cartridges. These days, most manufacturers actively encourage you to recycle cartridges, either by setting up kiosks in convenient locations to drop off empty cartridges or by not charging postage for mailing them. Once collected, manufacturers sift through them based on their condition and model to break them down into their constituent parts. If any of the parts are worn or damaged, it is replaced. Once restored, the next step is to refill the ink or toner and check for any errors. Ready! Now you have a recycled cartridge at just a quarter of the cost and in line with all environmental standards. Now that you understand the importance of recycling cartridges, let’s consider the benefits:

Recycling Cartridges: Protecting Mother Earth

The environmental benefits of cartridge recycling are far-reaching and you can save on natural resources by recycling. At least 97% of the raw materials that make up an original printer cartridge can be reused. Depending on its condition, it can be reloaded at least five or six times, although manufacturers generally only remanufacture a cartridge once to maintain a level of quality. Did you know that all kinds of fossil fuels, such as coal, gas, and diesel, are used to produce a single ink sleeve? This results in the emission of greenhouse gases and consumes valuable non-renewable natural resources. Cartridge recycling bypasses this production step, which reduces the buildup of greenhouse gases. By recycling cartridges, you also conserve the wood, water, and minerals used in the manufacturing process.

There is always a small amount of ink left in an empty cartridge when you throw it away. This is a manufacturing necessity; in inkjet printers prevents the printer’s print heads from overheating and consequently being damaged. Even when dumped in landfills and forgotten about, empty cartridges are still dangerous because the ink is toxic. If any amount seeps into the soil, it can contaminate farmland and water supplies. Manufacturers safely dispose of this hazardous waste ink during the remanufacturing process, preventing it from ending up in landfills and polluting the Earth.

Recycling cartridges: money issues

It is a myth that buying recycled cartridges costs less but you end up compromising quality. Reusing recycled cartridges reduces printing costs by up to seventy percent compared to their original counterparts. Recycled cartridges can contain up to twenty percent more ink, and professionally recycled cartridges often produce print quality equal to their original counterparts.

With the growing importance placed on cartridge recycling, manufacturers are beginning to offer incentives to consumers. Recycling cartridges is an easy way to increase your bank balance, and manufacturers sometimes offer buy-back specials. You get paid to recycle your cartridges – the more you send to manufacturers, the more money you can earn. Recycling cartridges can also contribute to charity. Some schemes are created where the more empty cartridges are collected, the more money is donated to a specific charity, school and/or church. This way is a double whammy as you not only help the environment but also participate in charity activities. It’s a win-win situation: By recycling cartridges, you get rid of an old item you’d otherwise throw away, and as a result, you or a deserving cause reaps the benefits.

The local economy also benefits from this process, as the cartridge recycling business employs thousands of people to get the job done quickly. As a result, many local companies that recycle cartridges spring up, creating employment opportunities and increasing the purchasing power of many people.

Cartridge Recycling: Land Space Conservation

As the urban population grows rapidly, countries are quickly running out of land to accommodate them. Governments are using the vacant spaces to cultivate farmland to feed the population, or converting them into high-rise buildings to provide shelter.

Most of your trash ends up in landfills. Increase the level of waste at these sites by disposing of used toner cartridges. Imagine for a second, the 200,000,000 empty casings that are discarded each year and end up in landfills. Made mostly of non-biodegradable plastic, it’s unlikely that even one will break down in the same year. The amount of land that would be required for such purposes would result in less space for housing and farmland. So, to prevent yourself and your neighbors from being homeless and hungry, please recycle your empty cartridges as best you can.

The cost of these landfills is paid for by your tax dollars. They are considered part of the government waste management costs. Recycle your cartridges and you’ll decrease your waste output, so fewer waste sites are needed and you’ll pay less waste tax.

Governments and environmentalists are playing their part through legislation and awareness campaigns to create a more mature recycling industry. It is time for you to play your part in the process. Get started today by recycling your old cartridges.

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