More than 500 million OEM toner and inkjet cartridges are manufactured every year. If these cartridges are not diverted from our landfills, it would equate to almost one-thousand tons of unnecessary pollution that could enter our waste stream every day. In addition to this potential waste, more than three quarts of oil are consumed during the manufacturing of every OEM cartridge. This equates to more than 375 Million gallons of oil consumed every year to make toner and inkjet cartridges.
Even worse than these staggering atrocities is the fact that many cartridges end up in cities like Guiyu, China where they are incinerated or dissolved with hazardous chemicals to extract residual metals. These processes contaminate the local air, soil and groundwater and one in ten children in Guiyu have birth defects due to this horrific pollution.
Do you know what happens when you send a used laser toner cartridge to Reliable Technologies for recycling?
All cartridges come to our warehouse in Manchester New Hampshire, where they are pallet-wrapped for truck pick up. We only ship full pallets in an effort to reduce shipping carbon emissions. They are shipped directly to our manufacturing facility. Upon arrival they are inspected, sorted, cleaned, and worn parts are removed.
Some toners are unusable for remanufacturing. An InfoTrends study in 2009 commissioned by HP found that 21% of used toners can’t be recycled properly. They also discovered that nationwide, 71% of unusable toner cartridges and replacement parts go to a landfill. At our facility unusable components are put in an industrial shredder. The small particles can be used for things like pavement, tires, and other industrial plastic components. Every effort is made to keep e-waste out of landfills, here abroad.
Because the costs associated with recycling cartridges in the most environmentally responsible manner possible are high, we do not have the ability to provide a cash-for-cartridges program. Efforts to donate cartridges to only responsible recycling facilities provides a greater reward than a few bucks, it helps keep our one and only earth healthy, and that’s something we can all benefit from!
We welcome your comments and questions!