- Green Technology
Printer Ink Cartridges Recycling
The global computer revolution of the past decade has created various recycling dilemmas, but none are greater than the problem of trying to educate the entire computer-using population of the world to have their spent printer ink cartridges refilled or remanufactured. It is an extremely difficult challenge to re-educate the entire worldwide computer-using population of 1.5 billion people, a number which exceeds the total population of every man, woman and child in China, on the need to not dispose of their printer ink cartridges.
Inkjet printers are the most common personal computer accessory in the offices and homes of every nation around the world. These types of printers are much less expensive to purchase than lasers and can generate color output of elevated quality, with some advanced models being able to reproduce photo-realistic images on special paper stocks.
These printer ink cartridges operate by spraying a fine jet of colored ink onto the page, but this ink supply is usually small and the cartridges are swiftly emptied. The common practice is to dispose of the cartridge and install a new one. This is where the re-education process of these 1.35 billion people becomes a global necessity: that valuable printer ink cartridge should never be thrown away, but refilled or traded in for remanufacturing.
Refilling the printer ink cartridge is performed through the purchase of one of the various readily available refill kits. These kits are composed of a syringe-type mechanism which reinjects the proper amount of ink back into the cartridge. Confirm that you are obtaining a refill kit manufactured by a well-known, major manufacturer. Cheaper clone kits usually contain substandard inks which produce poor printing quality and their inadequate syringe devices can cause significant ink spillage.
The other option is to check your local Yellow Pages under "Inkjet Cartridges", "Printing Supplies", or "Computer Supplies and Accessories" to locate one of the many inkjet specialty retailers near you. These retailers will trade in your empty printer ink cartridge and provide you with a refurbished identical cartridge filled with quality ink. Not only will they automatically refurbish and reuse your cartridge, but they will retail it at a significantly lower price than a new original. Confirm that your refurbished printer ink cartridge comes with a money back guarantee in case there are any problems printing with it.
The sheer magnitude of the problem posed by disposed printer ink cartridges staggers the imagination and is largely unknown. The production of the cartridge bodies alone utilizes over 2 million gallons of crude oil each and every week. That weekly consumption is equal to the amount of vehicle fuel that would allow a Geo Metro XFI to drive from New York to Los Angeles and back 12,000 times. If that weekly number of cartridges were laid end to end, they would circle the Earth at the equator over 23 times. When tossed into landfills, the cartridges take almost 500 years to decompose and there is no feasible way to recycle the base materials as the composition of the cartridges utilizes too many different materials. Cartridge refilling and refurbishing education must be implemented now to stop this global problem.