Recycling program takes aim at printer cartridges

About 5.5 million printer cartridges have already been diverted from Australia’s landfills through A national recycling program, “Cartridges 4 Planet Ark.”

Using revolutionary Australian technology, the innovative program helps to facilitate sustainable use of resources as all of the items dropped into “Cartridges 4 Planet Ark” recycling boxes are sent to a zero-waste-to-landfill facility.

This means that every component of a cartridge collected for recycling is spared from landfills and used to produce other items such as eWood. E-wood is used to make outdoor furniture, fencing and bollards, as well as fuel to replace natural gas and chemical spill clean-up kits.

In the five years since the program began, hundreds of thousands of Australians and more than 17,000 Australian businesses have taken action to address the growing problem of e-waste by recycling their cartridges through the program.

However, more than 18 million printer cartridges still go to landfills every year.

This equates to approximately 3,000 tons of plastic, 1,500 tons of ferrous metals, 400 tons of aluminum, 260 kilograms of gold as well as a significant amount of residual toner powder, ink, packaging and other materials entering the waste stream. This is not only a waste of good secondary raw materials; it also leaves a messy problem for future generations.

Program sponsors include Lexmark, Hewlett-Packard, Brother, Konica Minolta, Panasonic, Epson and Canon together with recycling partner Close the Loop.