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Toner Cartridges, Can We Recycle Better?

Printer Toner Cartridges create over 1.9 billion pounds of non-biodegradable waste.   But when you buy a recycled toner cartridge you are helping save the planet, right?  Well, yes and ...

Printer Toner Cartridges create over 1.9 billion pounds of non-biodegradable waste.   But when you buy a recycled toner cartridge you are helping save the planet, right?  Well, yes and no.  Certain popular cartridges are still being thrown into the landfills.  Why? 

There is an overabundance of certain popular virgin cartridges available.  Virgin cartridges are empty toner cartridges that have never been recycled.  Remanufactured toner cartridges using virgin cartridges cost less to remanufacture.   This is because some of the components can be used another cycle.  The drum and drum blade should always be replaced, but the other components are just fine to leave in most of the time.  These components are marginal at best the third time around so the best thing to do is to replace them to lower the defect rate.  Items such as the recovery blade, developer mag roller, developer drum spacers, seals and bearings can cost the manufacturer more money so they opt to use the virgin cartridges.  It is a matter of simple economics. 

I had a bunch of empty toner cartridges sitting in my garage but they had already been recycled.  I wanted to get rid of them, so I called many different manufacturers in and out of my area.  They all told me they didnít have any use for them.  They said that they only had a value if they were virgin cartridges.  I still wanted to get rid of the cartridges in my garage but I wasnít having any luck.  Then I came across a company that helps you start a fund raiser by recycling toner cartridges and cell phones.  Here is how it works.  You save up all of the old toner cartridges and cell phones you can, then box them up.  They give you free return shipping tags, you send them off and then wait till they send you a check!   The prices are set for each cartridge and cell phone.  I donít think you could get rich from this but it is a great fund raiser.  Our fund raiser is to send kids to camp.  If you are interested in the fund raiser I am talking about the company is called ďCC Cash.Ē  Go to their website for details.  Set up is free of charge.  They also make it easy by giving you boxes, flyers and posters for your fund raiser.  Itís a great way to recycle.  I asked them how much they would give me for the empties I had.  They said they could not give me any money but that I could ship them free of charge and they will be recycled.

Here is a way we can make recycling toner cartridges better.  I believe millions of cartridges could be recycled if we would just take the time to find a home for them.  It is easy to just toss them in the trash can.  YesComputer Technology Articles, I have done it and maybe you have too.   But you could start collecting different types of toner cartridges and send them back regardless if they give money for them.  Just send them back.  This could make a difference if just a few of us did it.  We can do better at recycling toner cartridges and lowering the amount of non-biodegradable waste that goes into our landfills.  We may be able to make some money while we are at it! 

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Bill Tucker has been in the office equipment / supply industry for over 20 years and has several published industry related articles that help the end-user as well as the technician.

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