In six decades, humans have produced more than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. 6.3 billion metric tons are actually plastic waste, and it’s slowly filling our landfills or making its way to the ocean. Only 9-percent of the waste produced in the United States is ever recycled.

Waste is a problem that will only get worse unless we start addressing it today. Many companies are taking steps to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Recycling empty toner cartridges is an excellent way to make a significant impact on plastic waste produced in your community.

Can I Recycle Empty Toner Cartridges?

Some experts estimate that more than 350 million ink cartridges are discarded in landfills across the world every year. That’s more than one million cartridges each day. A toner cartridge recycling program is a great step toward saving the environment.

You can recycle empty toner cartridges and significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste you produce. Toner cartridges, ink cartridges, and print cartridges are all designed to be easily reused or recycled. Most, if not all, are designed to be reused several times. Even if the toner or ink cartridges can’t be reused, recycling will provide components and parts for future remanufactured cartridges.

Getting Started Recycling Empty Toner Cartridges

Getting started with a cartridge recycling program in your office is easy. All it takes is a few simple steps to significantly the carbon impact of your office.

1. Use Office Recycling Containers

Make it easy for fellow employees to recycle. In the middle of a stressful day, it’s easy to just throw away a toner cartridge or ink cartridge. Use conveniently-located recycling containers throughout the office, especially near printers. One quick tip for kickstarting your toner cartridge recycling – reduce the number of garbage cans in the office. People will always find the most convenient place to pitch an item when they’re finished. Make sure it’s your recycling container.

2. Advertise the Recycling Program

Just putting out recycling containers isn’t enough. Let people know about the toner cartridge recycling program. Put up posters in areas where people hang out in your office, like the coffee machine or refrigerator. Send out emails reminding them of the importance of recycling empty cartridges and let everyone know the office is supporting a cartridge recycling program.

3. Partner with Recycling Programs

As you collect discarded ink cartridges or toner cartridges, it’s time to find a partner who will accept and recycle or reuse them. You can use to track down locations to recycle your office waste like toner cartridges. In the Cincinnati area, local Staples and Best Buy locations will accept used ink cartridges for recycling. There are also programs and charities that accept donations of used toner cartridges. Often you can get money back for the donation, but the amount will depend on the condition of the cartridge and other factors.

4. Keep up the Momentum with Toner Cartridge Recycling

Once you have your program up and running, don’t stop. Regular communication is important to keep the program running smoothly and effectively. Make sure to call out employees who make an effort to recycle and praise the company for their efforts. Keep a running tally on how much trash and plastic waste the company has saved from the environment.

The Benefits of Recycling Empty Print Cartridges

According to estimates, more than 90-percent of all solid office waste can be recycled. Starting an office recycling program, especially one focused on ink and toner cartridges, is a critical step toward protecting the environment and reducing our carbon footprint

Are you still not ready to start recycling? Consider these environmental facts before throwing away a toner cartridge:

Perpetual problem: Did you know the plastic in ink cartridges can take more than 500 years to decompose? These plastics will linger in landfills for centuries.

Toxic waste: Printer ink, and carbon black toner, are considered carcinogenic and are extremely harmful to the environment.

Reduce energy costs: A key ingredient to a new ink or toner cartridge is oil. More than 15 million gallons of oil can be saved over a year through toner cartridge recycling.

Saving the World with a Cartridge Recycling Program

With the resources and programs already out there, there’s no reason not to start a program in your office. The benefits for the environment, your employees, and office morale are clear. Reach out to programs in your area to learn more about cartridge recycling programs.

Need help kicking off your print cartridge recycling program? Contact Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises to learn more about cartridge recycling and what you can do in your office.