Fact Check: Office recycling myths busted

Mythbusters (1)

Sep 21, 2022

There is a commonly held belief that recycling is time-consuming, and difficult. Despite what these myths might have us believe, the benefits of recycling extend beyond reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills, as recycling also has economic and social benefits for your whole office.

U.S. consumers buy over 300 million inkjet and 70 million laser cartridges every year. Each year, 300 million print cartridges weighing a combined 150 million pounds are buried in our nation's landfills despite the environmental and economic benefits of recycling. Source: DGS

In fact, if you took all the world’s discarded ink and toner cartridges in just one year and stacked them end-to-end, they would circle the earth twice. Don’t let misconceptions and lack of information get in the way of saving you money and saving the environment.  Read on to find out what you might be getting wrong about toner recycling and how Milner’s Recycling Center might save you money while helping to save the environment.

Stop believing these 5 myths about toner recycling

  1. Throwing away toner and ink cartridges doesn’t make that much waste

    Ink and toner cartridges are so small that their environmental impact seems minimal. Nevertheless, we use 375 million toner cartridges every year, which are thrown away 70% of the time, adding to the average person's 20kg of electronic waste per year. These cartridges are made from plastic, which, aside from taking 500 to 1000 years to decompose, contains toxic chemicals. Additionally, print cartridges contain dangerous polymers that accumulate in our soil and water over time. Thus, the more ink and toner cartridges we dump in landfills, the greater our impact on the environment, so the more we can keep out, the better.

  2. There is no proper use for recycled toner cartridges

    Recycling toner actually reduces the need to create new products, which, in turn, reduces fossil fuel consumption. This helps to reduce climate changes as it reduces the emission of greenhouse gasses that lead to global warming. The reduction of cartridge production allows aluminum, a limited resource, to be used in other ways. And lastly, reusing cartridges reduces the amount of fuel that would have been required to transport all the cartridges that weren't needed.

    The above are all important steps in reducing our environmental impact, but reducing landfill waste remains a key priority. Every reused or recycled laser cartridge prevents nearly two pounds of metal and plastic waste from entering landfills, and more than 38,000 tons of plastic and metal are saved from landfills by remanufacturing toner cartridges. They can be repurposed to make various things such as artwork, furniture, bike paths and more. It’s clear that recycling toner and ink cartridges is a simple way to help lessen any office’s environmental impact.

  3. Recycling has no practical benefits

    So, toner cartridge recycling is good for the environment, but is that all there is? There are many ways that toner recycling helps your community. Ink and toner cartridges can be recycled to create jobs in the recycling industry as well as help nonprofit organizations. Additionally, recycling helps your community by diminishing the tax outlay caused by landfill management and there may even be state or federal tax credits available for those in your community who make green changes.

    As well as saving companies money, recycling can preserve a community's natural resources. All of which can boost a local economy. By saving money on production, companies can pass savings down to their customers, reducing their environmental and financial impact.

  4. Toner recycling programs are too limited

    You can recycle your used ink or toner cartridges for free with Milner's Recycling Center, including your inkjet cartridges (OEM, Compatibles, Remanufactured) and laser cartridges. But did you know that we will also recycle your fusers, that component in your printer that is used to permanently bond toner to a substrate, for recycling as well. With Milner, you can even recycle your old cell phones, which will save enough energy to power a laptop for 44 hours for every used cell phone that gets recycled.

  5. Toner recycling is too much hassle

    While you now agree that recycling is a good idea, you might still think it's too hard to find a place to recycle your cartridges. Are you concerned about cartridge recycling or think that you don't use enough toner or ink to make a difference? Do you think that setting up a program in your office would be too much hassle? Let Milner handle all your toner recycling for free. All you have to do to participate in our recycling program is to complete this form to download and print your pre-paid labels, place your recyclable items into boxes and have them picked up (or drop them off at your convenience) at your nearest UPS facility.

Don’t overlook your eco impact! Get started with Milner’s Recycling Center.

Most American businesses use around 1.3 billion inkjet cartridges annually, with less than 30 percent of those being recycled, a statistic that your business should be helping to change. Toner cartridge recycling is an important step in taking part in environmental stewardship as we become more aware of our collective impact on the environment. Milner's zero-landfill policy maximizes re-usability of printer cartridges and recycles materials when they cannot be reused. With paid shipping labels and quick turnaround times, we aim to provide the most efficient recycling program on the market. Get started now!

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