How to Properly Dispose of Used Ink Toner Cartridges
If you’re the lucky person who has to change the ink toner, you’re also faced with the challenge of deciding how to properly dispose of the old ink toner cartridge. Properly disposing of ink toner cartridges should be a topic that your business or facility has a plan in action for, so when the time comes there is no question of the correct action to take. But what is the correct way to dispose of toner cartridges and what should your business be doing?
Well the answer depends on a few things.
The answers to these questions will shape the answer of what you should be doing with ink toner cartridges. The information shared in the post will help you decide whether tossing or recycling is the best option for your business. You'll also learn tips on how to safely execute either option that you deem is best for your situation.
Some Cities and States Ban Ink Toner Cartridges from Landfills
The first step in determining how to properly dispose of ink toner cartridges is to find out if these items are banned from your local landfill. If you state or city has banned ink toner cartridges from the local landfills that means you will not be able to dispose of old cartridges in the normal trash. States or cities that ban ink toner cartridges typically also ban any items that can be recycled from being thrown away with normal trash. We found a great resource online here to find a list of landfill bans by state. It’s also a good idea to give your city a call and ask about banned items. In these cases ink toner cartridges must be recycled.
How to find out if ink toner cartridges are banned from landfills in your area:
Recycling Used Ink Toner Cartridges
The plastics used in ink toner cartridges are not biodegradable. These plastics can remain in landfills for up to 1000 years before they decompose. The good news is that toner cartridges can be recycled up to 15 times and are fairly easy to recycle. Recycling is an exceptional option, especially if your business currently recycles or has other green initiatives.
It is important to note that used ink toner cartridges cannot be included with normal recycling. There is a specialized process to recycle these items. Despite this fact, there are many easy ways to safely recycle ink toner cartridges. Here are a few that accessible to most commercial properties.
Send the toner cartridges back to the manufacturer.
Most ink toner manufacturers will accept toner cartridges back for recycling at no charge. The majority of the manufactures we researched not only accept their brand of ink cartridges back but cartridges from any manufacturer. Start by taking a look at the website of your manufacture and locate information about their recycling program. A shortcut is to Google manufacture name + recycling program. Searching with these terms should help you get to the recycling information faster.
Take the used ink toner cartridges to a local office supply store.
You may be surprised to know that office supply stores will accept old ink toner cartridges from recycling. As an added incentive some stores even offer a monetary reward for recycling ink toner cartridges. For example, Office Depot , Office Max and Staples recycling program pays up to $2 per ink toner cartridge. It's a great way to support the environment and get a few extra dollars for office snacks.
A good practice for using this method is to collect the ink toner cartridges in a large box, then take the filled box to the office supply store. This way you’re reducing the number of trips required and makes it easier to put this task on a schedule that can be shared among volunteers.
Recycle for charity.
There are many organizations that allow your recycling to to help not only help the environment but those in need as well. If your business is currently involved in community service, recycling for charity is a great addition.
Organizations for Charitable Recycling
Recycle for Charity: http://www.recycle4charity.com/category.jhtm?cid=4
Ronald McDonald House: http://www.recycleforchapters.com/
Funding Factory: http://www.fundingfactory.com/
If Throwing Ink Toner Cartridges Away in the Trash is the Only Option
While in most cases it’s not illegal to throw away used ink toner cartridges, it is not the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of toxic waste. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), encourages both individuals and businesses to recycle ink cartridges as a safe a responsible way to rid your business of these items.
However, if recycling is not an option, safety precautions for your staff as well as the people who will handle the cartridge after it is thrown away, like your cleaning staff and trash haulers, must be taken. Here are a few ways to make trash disposal of ink toner cartridges safer.
As a courtesy for your cleaning staff, let them know the bag contains ink toner by leaving a note on the outside of the bag and not placing the bag in regular trash. Your cleaning crew will know to handle that bag with care to avoid coming into contact with ink toner.
The proper way to dispose of used ink toner cartridges will depend on the laws where your business operates and you company’s commitment to a recycling program. Ultimately the proper way to dispose of ink toner cartridges is a method that puts the safety of the environment and all humans who will handle to cartridges and the ink toner as a priority over convenience.
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