If your business or organization is like most, you’re probably storing an assortment of unused toner and inkjet cartridges left over from printers you no longer have. The office supply store you purchased them from won’t buy them back, so they sit there, sometimes for years, taking up space and collecting dust, because no one knows what to do with them.
Eventually, someone in the office decides it’s time to clear them out. All too often those “old” cartridges are gathered up and carted off to the dumpster. It’s estimated that nearly half of all unused printer cartridges end up this way.
Sending your cartridges to the trash is a quick way to clear out your office space, but once the cartridges hit the dumpster, they join over 350 million non-biodegradable plastic cartridges which end up as landfill every year. This translates to roughly 1,000 tons of pollution entering the waste stream daily. Empty cartridge housings are made of plastic, or polymers which take over a thousand years to degrade. In addition, it takes a whopping 36 quarts of heavy oil to produce a single toner cartridge.
What about your unused cartridges? Well, the news is even worse. When cartridges are unused they contain a variety of substances that are as bad or worse for the environment than empties. They can contain particulate polyesters, polypropylene wax and various pigment dyes that are small and CAN seep into the water table.
How about recycling? Recycling your empty cartridges is a good start. Printer cartridge manufacturing is a $4.7 billion industry worldwide, but only about 25% of all cartridges are recycled. There are a number of green companies with cartridge collection programs that redirect used cartridges to remanufacturing companies who clean, refill and resell, but this is only a part of the solution.
Let’s get back to your perfectly good unused cartridges. Throwing yours away may be an expedient solution and perfectly understandable; after all, if the office supply store won’t buy them back, they probable have no value, right? No! Unlike other bulky ancient artifacts cluttering up your supply room, like that giant pile of promotional flyers from 2008, most printer cartridges retain solid value, because other offices are still using those older printer models your office decommissioned. By sending your unused cartridges off to a company who specializes in purchasing these toners and inkjets, you will recoup more of your purchase price than by sending them to a recycling company.
Selling your unused cartridges to Galaxy Surplus is a win – win – win solution. First, you keep them out of a landfill, second, you recapture a portion of your purchase expense and finally, you make it possible for budget minded buyers to purchase perfectly good cartridge at a discount price, because the box might be scuffed, or have a glue stain from a removed shipping label.
So the next time your office upgrades printers, don’t throw out the unused cartridges! You – and the environment– will be glad you went that extra step.