What is Toner Recycling?
What is Toner Recycling?
Whether if you have a single toner or hundreds, getting rid of empty cartridges can be a challenging task. Cartridges end up in landfills adding to toxic waste on the planet.
Opt for toner recycling, instead, as a sustainable option. It’s easy and helps to reduce solid waste by conserving raw materials.
Why Should You Recycle Toner Cartridges?
Americans buy about 70 million toner cartridges every year and throw nearly 70% of the total non-recycled cartridges in the world. Approximately 345 million cartridges end up in landfills every year, across the globe.
Now, imagine that each cartridge takes 450-1000 years to decompose or biodegrade. These figures are not only sobering but also stress the need for effective toner recycling. It’s vital to know here that toner contains hazardous chemical waste that’s detrimental to our ecosystem. A single toner has nearly two pounds of plastic and aluminum along with other metals. These raw materials can be reused to recycle toners using a closed-loop process. So, that’s not a good idea if you believe in environmental sustainability.
In this process, components of old cartridges are used to manufacture new ones. Furthermore, it diminishes the need for raw materials and saves fuel used for transportation. That said, the benefits are both economical and environmentally beneficial.
How Do Companies Recycle?
When you send your empty cartridges for recycling, a recyclable company follows a proper procedure. They collect the empties, inspect, and sort them to see if the components are suitable for remanufacturing or recycling. The reusable cartridges are cleaned and vacuumed to remove traces of residual ink or powder from them. Then, they recycle remanufactured toner cartridges by replacing the critical components and refilling them.
The non-reusable cartridges are broken down, and toner ink/powder is removed to prevent contamination. Whether you buy a toner cartridge from an online seller or a physical store, recycling is often an easy process. Check the box of your new cartridge to know about the recommended method of recycling.
Where to Recycle Toner Cartridges
Every leading toner manufacturer has its recycling programs. Please participate in the program and place appropriate trash cans for disposing of them.
The best solutions for the recycling of toners include:
- Look for a Supplier of Remanufactured Toner Cartridges There may be companies in your area that recycle remanufactured toner cartridges. Some recycling companies even pay a small amount for the empty cartridges they buy from you. They will dismantle the product and conduct a quality check before reusing the raw materials.
You may also find the buyers with pre-paid shipping or pickup facilities. Ask about them before giving away your toner trash. Make sure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
Return Empty Cartridges to Seller
The leading sellers of toner cartridges either take back the empties or provide proper instructions for toner recycling. They run specific programs to encourage the practice. Some sellers also have a reward system for customers. They offer discounted prices on future purchases if the buyers choose their recycling program.
Your toner may come in packaging with a mail-able envelope enclosed for recycling purposes. If it isn’t there, ask the supplier for the right type of box, container, or pallet you’ll need for sending the cartridges away.
Participate in Manufacturer’s Recycling Program
If you use a large number of toners in your organization, you may contact the manufacturer to participate in their toner recycling program directly. The program involves dropping off the used and empty cartridges at the office supply store near you. Since your supplies come from a registered vendor at the organization level, it makes sense to recycle them in the same way.
Participate in a seal and send program. Under this program, the vendor will drop a recycling container at your office. Keep your empties in this box until it’s full and then, seal it to send back to the vendor or a recycler in your area. Here, the return costs are usually met by the manufacturer.
For example, Sharp has a bulk recycling program, where the company provides three pre-labeled containers, three plastic bags, and three zip ties to close the bags for safe shipping. The consumables used for shipping are also 100% recyclable, with zero-waste added to landfills. For smaller quantities, you can drop off the empties at a toner recycling partner of the company. With a few clicks, the waste from your office ends up in a closed-loop recycling process to keep their trash out of the landfills.
How to Pack the Recyclable Toner Cartridges
Along with the right type of recycling method, it’s equally crucial to package the cartridges correctly. This ensures the empties reach their recipient in secure and reusable conditions for recycling. Here are the steps to take in this regard.
Pack in the Original Boxes
When you receive your new cartridges, don’t discard their original boxes immediately. You can use the same boxes for packaging while sending for recycling. If in case you don’t have the original boxes, use a bubble or zip-lock bag to avoid leakage or spillage of the toner ink.
Now, snug the wrapped cartridges in a big container, preferably the one provided by the manufacturer for bulk toner recycling. Most importantly, don’t leave spaces between the boxes; else, your cartridges will bounce and damage during the transit.
Follow the Number of Packages Allowed
When you participate in a manufacturer’s recycling program, make sure that you follow the instructions properly. Read carefully to check the number of cartridges allowed in each container. Also, check the total weight before shipping.
Once you fill-up the bulk recycling container, secure it properly with tape for safe shipping. Follow the instructions provided by the company and place used supplies only in the lined cartons to prevent damages.
What Are the Benefits Toner Recycling for Environment?
When a company uses a closed-loop recycling method, it can produce up to 100% of new cartridges from recycled materials. In this process, they may consume a large part of materials that were likely to end up in the oceans or landfills.
Some companies also work with global communities to support local economies and populations.
Do your part as a responsible individual or organization by choosing toner recycling in the right place.
Purchase genuine and original cartridges to participate in the manufacturer’s recycling program that is convenient and cost-effective.