How printers get recycled

Reduce, reuse, recycle, has been etched in most peoples’ brains ever since they were very young, and it remains as important today as ever. Most people make a collective effort to reduce their carbon footprint, but printers often go forgotten about.

Just like every other office supply, printers can be recycled – and they should be. Most users know how to recycle toner and ink cartridges, but not many are aware of the ins and outs of the printer. If you don’t know how to recycle toner and ink, this guide will tell you how to do that too.

It’s always worth handing your printer to someone else if you’re done with it, but if you can’t find someone you want to give your old printer to, it’s best to recycle it. Many companies specifically look to recycle printers as part of a 2007 legislation to cover waste, electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

You’re able to take your old computers to a number of stores and charity shops which will take them back and dispose of them or fix them and resell them, but the easiest way is through a specific printer recycling system.

Some places will visit businesses to take their old printer and recycle them. They’ll collect them, wipe them of any information and dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way.

Once your printers have been taken out of your hands, the equipment is identified and the condition is assessed. Printers that still have a long lifespan can be reconditioned and sold or donated. If the printer doesn’t have any value it’s sent through a de-manufacturing process. Useful aspects of the printer are kept, but everything else is separated and shredded before being melted down.

To make it easier for you, some companies even offer their services for cash. HP encourage their customers to recycle properly, and they’re happy to give a helping hand in the process. Whether you’re recycling or returning it for cash, they’re encouraging users to dispose of their printers properly.

Toners and ink cartridges should be recycled, but they’re also reusable. It’s not essential to throw away your old cartridges once they’ve been used. Many places offer refillable alternatives, making you waste a lot less, as well as saving yourself some money.

Making an effort to reduce your carbon footprint is always going to be positive in the long run, but failing to dispose of your printer items properly will heavily impact the environment.

If you don’t dispose of your products, the empty cartridges will contribute to pollution, with the plastic taking up to 1000 years to break down. Leftover ink will also leak out and pollute the surroundings.

Many companies have made it easy to return your used printers and cartridges, so if you’re not passing it down to someone it’s definitely worth sending it back. Large companies are encouraged to recycle their old printers, once the hard drive is wiped clean, and many are rewarded for doing so.

With the help of organisations, it’s now hassle-free to recycle your old printers, and it doesn’t cost a penny.