For as long as we as humans will need to print documents, we’ll be throwing away ink cartridges. Even though the cost of printer ink can put a damper on your household budget, it can really start to add up when you look at how much it costs businesses across the world.
One way to economize and reduce our carbon footprint is to investigate the benefits of recycling. If you use a printer in the office or at home, you can contribute to saving the planet by recycling or reusing your ink cartridges.
The high cost of using new cartridges
It is estimated that every year over 300 million cartridges with a combined weight of 150 million pounds are buried in our nation’s landfills according to Evolve Recycling. These plastic containers will not rot for 1,000 years and toner cartridges contain carcinogens. If you choose to recycle you’ll discover that each cartridge can be reused at least 15 times, this would provide a massive saving to your printing budget and help reduce the amount of waste going into landfill sites.
Recycling can also save you money
Brand new ink cartridges will run out of ink far more quickly now than in previous years. Chris Brooks, an industry expert, maintains that new cartridges only contain 0.2 oz of ink, costs $19, and will print up to 200 pages. In 2004, cartridges had 1.4 oz of ink and retailed at $30 and would allow you to print 930 pages.
Recycling has to be a cheaper option. Ink cartridge manufacturers are obviously increasing their profits, it only costs $0.43 to make a cartridge, though this figure doesn’t take production or labor costs into account.
Where can you refill your cartridges?
Many manufacturers and retailers will refill ink cartridges for you. The costs do vary, but you will find that you can make considerable savings compared the amount you would spend with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
What is a recycled ink cartridge?
A commercially recycled ink cartridge is cleaned thoroughly to ensure that all traces of ink are removed from the cartridge. Ink deposits will also be removed from the print head. The clean, resurrected cartridge will then be filled with generic ink before being repackaged. This means you get an ink cartridge which is as good as new but which comes with a much lower price tag and much better green credentials.
Making money from recycling cartridges
An increasing trend among businesses and individuals is to recycle ink cartridges to raise money for themselves or for charities. You simply send the company your spent cartridges, and you’ll receive payment in return. Couriers come to pick up the waste products and then guarantee to dispose of these in an ethical and environmentally friendly way.
The cartridges are usually recycled or refilled and then sold on to other users. These schemes reduce the amount of toxic materials that are sent to landfill. This amounts to 45 million and generates an additional form of cash for all.
Why is it right for you?
If you’re wondering why recycling ink cartridges is right for you then you need only look at the savings you can stand to make. Along with cutting down on the cost of your print jobs, you’ll be ensuring you get the same high quality results and doing your bit for the environment. What more could you want?
Featured image courtesy of Flickr – Dome Poon