Printer cartridges are made up of a complex combination of plastics, metals, foam, ink and toner. Throwing them into landfill represents a waste of resources and contributes to the growing problem of electronic waste. By recycling your cartridges you are helping to reduce this waste.
Why Recycle Printer Cartridges?
Some of the environmental benefits of recycling your cartridges include:
- Diverting waste from landfill. Over 16 million cartridges have been diverted from landfill through ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’.
- Recovering resources. By collecting cartridges and sending them for reprocessing or recycling we recover plastics, metals and inks that can then be used to make new products.
- Saving water and energy. In most cases, making products from recycled materials uses less water and energy than making them from new materials.
- Reducing greenhouse gases. An assessment in 2010 by Close the Loop showed that up to that date the ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ program had prevented over 16,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere.
Where Can I Recycle My Cartridges?
Planet Ark has joined with our retail collection partners to make recycling the cartridges you use at home as easy as possible. They can be taken to all Officeworks and JB Hi-Fi stores and participating Australia Post, Dick Smith, Tandy, Harvey Norman, and The Good Guys stores. To find your nearest drop off point, visit RecyclingNearYou.com.au/Cartridges or call the Cartridges Hotline on 1800 24 24 73.
If your workplace uses more than 3 cartridges per month (or 36 in the year), you may be eligible to have a workplace collection box. To find out, call the Cartridges Hotline on 1800 24 24 73.
Cartridges cannot be recycled in your household recycling bin. As cartridges are made from many different materials, they have to be manually separated into their different components and they are not suited to the collection systems and sorting facilities used by councils.
What Happens To The Printer Cartridges?
All of the printer cartridges put into a ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ box are sent to Planet Ark’s recycling partner, Close the Loop®, in Melbourne. Once there, they are hand sorted and their brand and type recorded. Some of the laser cartridges are returned to the original equipment manufacturers for their own remanufacturing and recovery programs. All of the remaining cartridges are processed through the Close the Loop® ‘Green Machine’.
- Inks are recycled and reused in low grade printing applications.
- Clean plastic streams are reused in various applications.
- Metals are extracted and made into new products.
- All other materials and contaminated plastics are recycled into eWoodTM – a timber-replacement product used to make items such as outdoor furniture, fencing and garden edging.
About ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’
‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark‘ is an innovative recycling program that provides Australians with a free, easy and environmentally- accredited way to recycle their used printer cartridges.
All printer consumables (including inkjet and toner cartridges, toner bottles, fuser and drum units) from participating brands can be recycled through the ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ program.
The participating brands are Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta and Lexmark. These leading cartridge manufacturers are involved in the ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ program and pay for its running costs including the collection, transport, sorting and recycling of the cartridges.
‘Cartridges for Planet Ark’ website (Cartridges.PlanetArk.org) Close the Loop website (www.closetheloop.com.au)