The Benefits of Recycling Empty Toner Cartridges

Are empty toner cartridges piling up in the office? Think twice before throwing them out – they can be recycled. In fact, over the last decade, companies have come to recognize the many benefits of recycling their empty toner cartridges. Recycling empty toner cartridges is a low-disruption, high-impact strategy. From decreased overhead expenses to a smaller carbon footprint, recycling toner cartridges represents a substantial step towards a more sustainable office.

Remanufactured toner cartridges are available for nearly every brand and model of office printer on the market. Discover why they’re so perfect for recycling, and how doing so benefits both companies and the earth.

The Anatomy of the Toner Cartridge

Empty toner cartridges can be refurbished, refilled, and resold at often a fraction of the cost of new ones. Surprised? It’s one of the best-kept secrets of printer manufacturers, who make a killing selling toner and ink cartridges to printing-dependent offices.

While they’d love to sell new ones, the reality is that toner cartridges can be recycled between four and six times before they’re too worn for use. It’s even possible to recycle remanufactured toner cartridges. Here’s a breakdown of the anatomy of a toner cartridge to help illuminate just why it’s such an excellent candidate for recycling.

The Cartridge

The inside of a printer is an extreme environment. It’s hot, in constant use, and involves unpronounceable chemicals during the printing process itself. Cartridges are built to withstand this. Made from over one pound of steel and 2.5 pounds of hard plastics, they’re designed to undergo months in such an environment without breaking.

Cartridges are remarkably well-built. So well built that they take between 450 and 1,000 years to decompose. The first toner cartridges which hit the market in 1983 are still around – somewhere.

The Toner

Contrary to how it may seem, toner isn’t ink. Instead, it’s a fine powder made predominately from granulated plastics, carbon powder, iron oxide, fumed silica, and polypropylene. It has a slight static charge, and it is heat-fused to paper. Substantial chemical composition is the reason why pages printed with toner don’t bleed when they get wet.

Due to this chemical composition, toner cartridges are considered “eWaste.” It requires a specific type of disposal procedure to render it safe. Many cities and counties make it illegal to throw used toner cartridges into the regular waste bin, where they will end up in the landfill and potentially contaminate the soil.

Each year, offices in the United States purchase 500 million new toner cartridges. A staggering 375,000 of them will end up in the landfill – exactly where they’re not supposed to be.

Recycling Benefits Both Companies and the Earth

Toner cartridges are problematic when they’re treated as disposable. Created from materials that don’t break down and chemicals that are classified as hazardous, they represent a significant source of pollution for most offices. Recycling them is not only a smart business move, but it’s the responsible thing to do. Here are three reasons why.

1. Remanufactured Toner Cartridges Are Cheaper Than OEMs.

Cutting the costs of operation are one means by which businesses pursue economic sustainability, and there’s no better way to do that than reduce the expenses around printing. Refurbished toner cartridges are much cheaper than their OEM counterparts. It is estimated that businesses can save between 30 and 60 percent on their toner when they switch to remanufactured cartridges.

2. They Provide the Same Toner Quality – and Sometimes a Higher Yield

Often, remanufacturers and refurbishers do more than repair and refill a cartridge. They’ll often re-engineer OEM cartridges to hold more toner. These cartridges, known as extended high yield cartridges, deliver more printed pages per cartridge. Businesses get more printing and fewer cartridges.

3. They Promote a Circular Economy.

Circular economies promote recycling and reduce the number of new resources that are introduced into the system. As cartridges are so resource-intense to produce, they’re a prime candidate for circular economies. For the past several years, the world has been experiencing a landfill crisis, which is growing steadily more challenging to handle. Using remanufactured toner cartridges is a direct way to make a positive impact by keeping thousands of toner cartridges out of the landfill altogether.

Benefit from Recycling Toner Cartridges Through James Imaging

Making the switch from OEM to remanufactured toner may seem daunting at first. However, by choosing a reputable dealer, a company can enjoy cheaper toner at the same high quality it needs to produce professional documents. Switching to recycled printer cartridges is both an environmentally friendly and responsible thing to do. Such recycling benefits not only the earth but the business itself.

James Imaging is thrilled to help companies develop environmentally sound strategies for business. Contact us today to discuss your sustainability initiatives and where to recycle your toner cartridges.