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Keep Electronics Out of Landfills

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Conservation and environmental responsibility have been hot button issues for years, but the stark reality is that even the simplest form of environmental stewardship – recycling – often is neglected.

America Recycles Day is Nov. 15, and thousands of events will be held across the United States to raise awareness about the importance of recycling.

According to a 2013 study by the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans recycled only about 35 percent of the 250 million tons of trash they produced in 2011. The remaining garbage was dumped into landfills, taxing an already battered landscape.

Since opening its first store in the United States more than 10 years ago, Cartridge World, the world’s largest specialty retailer of ink and toner cartridges, has become a recycling leader and now keeps about 4.5 million empty printer cartridges out of landfills each year.

“Our in-store recycling efforts are only a small part of the solution. As a globally recognized electronics brand, we have an obligation to educate and advocate the importance of recycling,” said Tom McLaughlin, Cartridge World marketing director. “Unfortunately, electronics are recycled at even lower rates than other common household items, and electronics often have the most devastating impacts on the environment.”

In the same study, the EPA reported that only 25 percent of electronics were recycled. Many of these products contain hazardous chemicals with the potential to contaminate groundwater and streams.

Toner cartridges, specifically, require about a gallon of oil to make just one cartridge. About 70 percent of used printer cartridges are currently thrown out.

Cartridge World stores often reuse many of the components in empty printer cartridges. If a store doesn’t reuse the cartridge, it recycles the cartridge in an environmentally responsible manner at no cost to the consumer. In addition to printer cartridges, Cartridge World stores recycle cell phones and other small electronic equipment (see store for details). The Cartridge World team of home and office printing professionals also will help find ways for businesses and consumers to recycle larger electronics such as printers, fax machines, copiers and more.