What do you usually do with the used up printer ink cartridges? Well, 8 out of every 10 people throw the used cartridges in the dustbin. You do that too, don’t you? You shouldn’t. Read ahead to find out why:
Printer cartridges are made of a complex combination of plastics, metals, foams and chemicals that can probably take up to 425 to 1000 years to decompose. Each year over 350 million cartridges are thrown out to landfills. With new technologies, electronic waste has been the fastest growing kind of wastes with a major proportion being diverted to landfills. You may not think twice before tossing the empty cartridge into the bin, but every cartridge you throw, you are adding onto that 350 million of junk that ends up in the landfills. Also when these cartridges breakdown at the landfills, the chemicals tend to contaminate the groundwater and the water bodies. This planet is yours, so it is time for you to step up, and act responsible, minimizing and handling the wastes you generate.
The most common misconception people have about recycled cartridges is that they my damage the printer or provide low quality prints. THAT IS AN ABSOULTE MYTH! You don’t really have to worry about the quality since the recycling job is done manually. The cartridges are sorted according to the type, model number, and their condition; after which each cartridge is inspected and checked for any damage; these damages are fixed, filled with toner and tested. All these jobs are done by certified technicians. In fact these printer cartridges cost you less, you save up to 30% of the recurring costs.
About three quarts of oil are consumed while manufacturing a single laser cartridge (new). This cost is lowered to substantial degree when you choose to recycle, instead of buying a new one. According the figures, over 11 million gallons of oil can be saved in 7 months if you recycle the empty cartridges.
Other than the fact that you are doing your part in saving the environment, you are also a consumer for an industry which is labour-oriented. All cartridge recycling companies hire hundreds of people; so you are helping the economy to grow.
You can also go for refilling of your printer cartridges but keep in mind that the quality of print may not be the same; since the worn-out parts are not being replaced or repaired; in refilling the cartridges are simply filled with new ink or toner. Sometimes the new ink may get contaminated by mixing with the remaining old ink leading to the formation of air bubbles which hamper the printing process.
So the next time your cartridge goes empty, make sure you take it to the nearest recycling center. Recycle for all it’s worth.