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Posted On: 19-11-2019
Posted In: Bins

Stock image of printer ink cartridgesInk and toner cartridges can have a detrimental impact on our environment as the materials they’re manufactured from can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. What’s more, if they come into contact with water they can leak ink, potentially polluting our watercourses.

Sales of ink and toner cartridges increase each year, however, only 30% of the cartridges sold are recycled, which leaves a staggering 350 million ending up in general waste.

The fact is, ink and toner cartridges are a great item to recycle as most of them can be reused 4 and 6 times before they need to be reprocessed, and for those that can’t, up to 97% of their constituent parts can be recycled.

Every second around the world, 8 printer cartridges are thrown away. If just 4 of these were recycled, it would help to produce 20 more cartridges, whilst using 80% less energy than producing from new using virgin materials. 

To help combat this problem, the Council collects used ink and toner cartridges as part of residents’ kerbside recycling collections. Used cartridges can be placed in the green recycling box along with cardboard and cartons. They should be put inside a carrier bag (not black in colour), to reduce the chance of leaking ink.

Stock image of an old mobile phoneIn addition to ink and toner cartridges, mobile phones can also be recycled at the kerbside. Mobile phones are made from an array of precious metals. For every million mobile phones recycled, we can recover up to:

  • 16,000 kgs of copper
  • 350 kgs of silver
  • 34 kgs of gold
  • 14 kgs of palladium

Mobile phones also contain tin, zinc and platinum.

These materials are becoming increasingly scarce, yet they can be recovered if recycled. By recycling just one mobile phone, the energy saved is the equivalent of charging a laptop for about 44 hours. Annually, up to 130 million mobile phones are thrown away, but if they were recycled, they could produce enough energy to power over 24,000 homes for a year!

The same as ink and toner cartridges, unwanted mobile phones can go in the green recycling box using a non-black carrier bag to protect the components from water ingress.

Mobile phones, ink and toner cartridges can also be recycled at your local recycling centre.

All used mobile phones and ink/toner cartridges will be collected regardless of their condition. It should be noted however, that a factory reset should be performed on a mobile phone to wipe any personal data before leaving out for recycling.