Help Center - Ink Cartridge Recycling and Other Printer E-Waste Recycling Tips

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Ink Cartridge Recycling and Other Printer E-Waste Recycling Tips

E-waste (electronic) recycling, particularly recycling printer waste, benefits both the user and the environment.

It lowers expenses of buying materials as well as lessens environmental impacts. 

Printing can have different kinds of printer waster. Here are the types of printer waste, how it affects the environment and what you can do.

Toner and Ink Cartridges

A. Environmental Impact

According to A Greener Refill, 375 million cartridges are disposed per year. That would be 11 cartridges per second or 1,000,000 cartridges per day.

B. What You Can Do

After emptying your ink and toner cartridges, you can drop them off to your local seller or recycling centers. Most local office supply stores also have a cartridge drop-off site where they can be delivered to recycling centers. 

Cartridges that have undergone the e-waste recycling process are called remanufactured cartridges. Once empty, simply return them to your sellers in order for the cartridges to once again undergo a strict process of toner and ink cartridge recycling.

Remanufactured Epson T288XL CMYK ink cartridges

Remanufactured cartridges are made by careful selection of used cartridges for high performance. Then they undergo high power cleaning with demineralized water. The cartridges are mechanically filled with ink or toner and their cartridge chips are replaced with new ones for compatible operation with printers.

These cartridges also undergo printing tests and quality checks before they are cleaned again and professionally packed and sealed for shipment.

Refillable cartridges are also part of e-waste recycling. You can buy ink or toner refill kits to refill the cartridges yourself. The kits can include tools such as syringes for injecting ink or a thumb drill to drill a small hole in the old cartridge (which will be sealed with a sticker).

Remanufactured cartridges are simply more convenient than refilled cartridges as they are ready to use and have less risks for spills. 

Printers

A. Environmental Impact

According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2020, 53.6 million metric tonnes of electronic waste was generated in 2019 world wide. But only 17.4% of it were collected and recycled for their high-value recoverable materials such as gold, silver and copper.

B. What You Can Do

For old printers, they can be properly disposed in a recycling center. Most printer manufacturers have take-back programs for e-waste recycling of certain models. To check, go here: CanonBrotherEpsonHP.

Paper 

A. Environmental Impact

The Union of Concerned Scientists have stated in 2016 that the global industry of wood products (pulp and paper included) is one of the major contributors of deforestation. According to EPA, 67 million tons of paper and paperboard waste products was generated in 2017.

The good news however, is the US has 39% of fiber recycled for paper making. A portion of 25% is made from lumbar mill residues and chopped defective or slow-growing trees. Only 36% is made from harvested timber.

B. What You Can Do

For small to medium businesses, they can send their paper waste to Paper Recycling Centers. Paper can be recycled six times where they are shredded, pulped and rinsed.