A while back I did an article about sending your empty cartridges back to a mail order company in exchange for a small cash reward. This week I’m going to talk about an even better idea which involves less effort but a better result – recycling cartridges for charity.
Many printers on the market use cartridges which contain copyrighted printheads and hence they can’t have cheaper new alternative made of them so unfortunately the only way for the consumer to gain a saving is to refill or buy a remanufactured version. The advantages of remanufacturing surpasses the fact that you can get the same quality for a lower cost, they also often contain more ink than their original counterparts and of course remanufacturing is good for the environment as 30 million ink cartridges are dumped in the UK alone every year. If we look at a worldwide statistic, a total of 375 million cartridges per year are dumped and it believed that the plastic that makes up these cartridges will take over 1000 years to decompose.
When you consider that only 5% of all cartridges are being remanufactured you can see how important it is for us all to take a part in making things just a little bit better for the environment. Current demand for these remanufactured cartridges appears to be outstripping supply as more people want lower cost cartridges but they are either unsure as to how to return their empties or do not want the hassle of doing so.
Of course there are plenty of companies who remanufacture printer cartridges and as they all compete in the same market this pushes the price of the empty units up. Many charities have taken advantage of this market by arranging their own collections via their volunteers and then selling them back to the remanufacturing companies for a profit. Such a system is potentially more lucrative than it sounds as some empty inkjet cartridges can fetch up to £5 a piece so you soon see that even collecting 20 of these would provide the charity with £100 straight away that could be used for good causes. Remember that these cartridges would previously have just ended up in the bin which in turn would lead to more waste being put into landfill.
Eager to do our little bit for both the environment and charity we have been asking all customers to bring their old cartridges down to our trade counter in Paignton so that we can put them all to one side and then flog the lot back to the highest paying remanufacturing company in order to give the proceeds to Age Concern Torbay. So far the response has been pretty good however I am inviting all readers, whether they buy cartridges from us or not to drop their empty units down to the store so that we can make the total figure something to be really proud of. Please note that although we will take all toner cartridges we are only interested in receiving back empty HP, Lexmark, Samsung, BT, Sharp and Dell inkjet cartridges as Epson and Canon cartridges have no resalable value when they’ve been used once.
The store is located at 158 Torquay Road, Paignton and I should stress that Refresh Cartridges will be taking absolutely nothing from the proceeds nor do you have to buy anything from us in order to contribute to the collection.