How many old printers do you have lying around your office, tucked away in a corner of a closet gathering dust? Chances are you have at least one or two, as you may not have been sure what to do with your e-waste. Long gone are the days when printers should end up in a landfill. How do you responsibly get rid of your printer?
Let’s find out!
Why Responsible Printer Recycling is Important
Business owners should dispose of their printers properly because they contain e-waste that is potentially hazardous to the environment if incinerated or placed in landfills.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has noted that electronics, including computer printers, present the largest source of mercury in municipal waste. Circuit boards and other printer components contain mercury and lead, while ink and toner have dangerous chemicals. Responsible electronic recycling is part of an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
How Can I Get Rid of My Company’s Old Printers?
You have several options if the printer still operates. These include:
- Selling your old printer on eBay or to a company that refurbishes old electronics
- Donating it to a non-profit organization
- Exchanging it for a new printer in a manufacturer’s buyback program
When donating your printer, don’t forget to include the owner’s manual, power cord, and other pertinent accessories. However, if the printer has stopped working or if the device is so old that it is no longer compatible with your computers, the only choice is to recycle it.
Preparing Your Printer for Recycling
When recycling old printers, you need to do several things before taking them to an electronics recycling center. These preparations are essential to ensure that your recycling effort is environmentally friendly.
Culture is important in getting employees to understand the benefit of a printer recycling program. Offering incentives or rewards can help promote recycling in the workplace to get your team to buy into the importance of electronic recycling.
Taking Care of e-Waste
Businesses have a lot to do before disposing of a printer. Make sure to remove SD cards and any other removable memory and add-ons your printer may have.
Remove print cartridges, disconnect USB and other cables and remove the power cords. Some items, such as print cartridges and other electronic items, must be separated before disposal.
Recycling Print Cartridges
Print cartridges are often easier to recycle than other components. Many commercial retailers offer drop boxes where you can place used cartridges for recycling, while others offer mail-in services. Recycling cartridges ensures that any remaining ink will be drained safely, while the remainder of the product will be broken down and reclaimed before recycling or disposal.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line regarding your old printer is that you should never throw it in the trash heap destined for a landfill. This action is illegal in many municipalities, but beyond that, simply throwing away your printer is bad for the environment.
Businesses looking for Dallas electronic recycling services can find a partner in Retire PC. Contact us today to learn how your company can safely dispose of printers and other electronic devices.