It is the responsibility of every individual living in any part of the world to become environmentally aware and go green. Recycling will not only help mother earth but you can also feel proud about doing something wonderful to save the environment. A lot of companies are becoming aware of reducing their carbon footprint by recycling everything they could possibly think of. In most of the developing and under developed countries in the world, there are not many ways for people to recycle things that are harmful to the environment like, batteries, printer ink cartridges, and other type of electronic wastes. Poor population in urban areas in many developing countries engages in waste picking to make money and to recycle stuff. However in a country like Australia or any developed nation for that matter, there are a lot of ways for the people to recycle stuff like ink cartridges. It is still mind boggling how only a handful of people care to recycle in Australia.
As technology advances, prices of printers surge, especially inkjets, a lot of households and companies in Australia now own several printers. This means, more and more people are buying printer ink cartridges, but are they recycling them properly? According to a study, Australians dump more than 18 million printer ink cartridges every year and the numbers have been increasing every successive year.
Printer related e-waste includes toner bottles, drums, ink cartridges (inkjet printers), toner cartridges (laser printers), etc. In Australia the amount of printer related waste add up to 5000 tonnes. When these kinds of wastes are dumped in to landfills they can contaminate the soil and groundwater.
Recycling Programs in Australia
There are several recycling services one can make use of to recycle their e-waste. There are also many companies and services that specialize in recycling printer accessories. Planet Ark, Close the loop, HP Planet Partners Program are some services – available in all the major cities like, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. People can locate the collection bins and drop of their stuff to be picked up by them.
People who live in rural areas and who do not have direct access who do not have such collection bins neat them can use the Australian Post who have tie-up Planet Ark (cartridges.planetark.org) to ship all your used cartridges and other parts to be recycled.
Anything related to printers such as, fax rolls, print heads, laser and inkjet cartridges, toner bottles, fuser units, waster hoppers, kits, drums, etc could be dropped or sent to be recycled. This is one of the most popular and largest projects of its kind in the nation. They collect and recycle accessories manufactured by some of the top names in the industry like, Brother, Lexmark, Canon, Epson, Konica Minolta and many more. The printer cartridges thus collected will be sent to “Close The Loop” located in Melbourne where they will be sorted and sent to the corresponding OEMs to be reused.
Planet Ark does not have collection bins in every single town in Australia. The Australia Post has been collecting cartridges on behalf of them for the past 10 years. All the printer cartridges collected will be sent to Planet Ark and then will be sent to “Close the loop” in Melbourne to be segregated.
Close the loop
Close the Loop works with nearly 10 of the country’s top printer and accessories manufactures. Their job is to collect all the used cartridges and send them to original equipment manufacturers and thus closing the loop. They use a lot of programs to collect cartridges, one such program is actually the Planet Ark program which has collected nearly 21 million cartridges with the help of 3000+ outlets in major cities in the nation.
Although all the 3 services tend to work individually, they are still very closely knitted helping the manufacturers to recycle and reuse printer cartridges.