The Common Items Overload Our Landfills
William Rathje wrote a 1990 article for The Economist, and it opened an ongoing environmental conversation. Rathje wrote: Dig a trench through a landfill and you will see layers of phone books like geographical strata or layers of cake…. During a recent landfill dig in Phoenix, I found newspapers dating from 1952 that looked so fresh you might read one over breakfast.
Old phone books aren’t the only thing sitting in landfills around the nation. There are hundreds if not thousands of household and business items that sit untouched in these overloaded landfills, and they will continue to sit there for five hundred years or more before they decompose. They are tons of simple things bogging down our connection with nature. It’s time to recognize those things and make a environmentally friendly adjustment.
Ross Perot once said: “The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.” We may not be a country of activists now, but through own ignorance we will become a nation that has to clean up our rivers and landfills as well as our wasteful habits.
Ink cartridges and laser toners are a couple of those simple things. Most of us don’t realize that 11 ink cartridges and laser toners are disposed of every second. If those cartridges were put end to end they would wrap around the earth three times.
Seventy percent of all ink cartridges and fifty percent of all laser toners are not being recycled, and that means over 375 million cartridges and toners reach landfills every year. Just like those old phone books they will sit there for the next 500 to 1,000 years.
Let’s Become A Global Family Of Activists
Ninety-seven percent of the materials used in toners and cartridges can be recycled and reused. Cartridges can be refilled five to seven times before they reach the end of their life cycle when they are treated properly.
There’s economic value in recycled cartridges as well. Remanufactured cartridges usually cost 50% less than OEM cartridges, plus based on the cartridge type and recycling program you get money back when they are recycled.
Environmentally friendly changes are already happening, and they can’t be overlooked by us, the newly appointed activists. Soy ink and soy toners are replacing oil based toners and cartridges. Newspapers around the country have been using soy ink for several years because the paper is easier to recycle.
Soy toners are now available in remanufactured ink cartridges, and they are considered compatible laser toners or better toners because soy is a natural product that reduces our dependency on that black gold we call oil.
Using remanufactured ink cartridges fill with soy ink actually reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 89%, and compatible laser toners offer the same savings. Recycling used cartridges is an easy process. You can send them back to the manufacturer, sell them online or return them in-store, but instructions must be followed precisely so you can enjoy the benefits from the return.