What You Might Not Know About Recycling Print Cartridges

By ASE Direct Team
on Mar 6, 2019

It’s been well-known for a while now that refurbished print cartridges are one strategy which businesses employ to reduce their operating expenses. Yet, for most people, the subject of recycling print cartridges remains something of a mystery. You may know that your toners and ink cartridges can be recycled, but what happens to them after that? Also, is it safe? Is it legal? Does it even matter from an environmental standpoint?

From concerns about patent laws to the exact environmental impact which switching to remanufactured ink cartridges makes, we shed light on some things you might not know about recycling print cartridges. In fact, we’ve got great news: Switching from OEM cartridges to remanufactured ones is perfectly legal, delivers the same quality you expect, and has a significant, positive impact on the environment.

Refurbished Cartridges Are Free from Intellectual Property Concerns

Buying refurbished ink and toner cartridges is legal, and printer companies cannot stop you from doing so. In 2017, the Supreme Court struck down an attempt by Lexmark to argue that the resale of its refurbished printer cartridges constituted patent infringement. In other words, Lexmark argued that its cartridges were subject to its patent protections after the consumer purchased them from the company. As such, Impression Products’ refurbishment and resale of its cartridges were against its service agreement because Lexmark offered a discount program for users who returned cartridges to Lexmark – and agreed not to sell these cartridges to other companies. The Supreme Court disagreed with Lexmark’s position on Impression Products.

That said, the ruling did not apply to customers who sign up for Lexmark’s return program and then sell their cartridges to third-party remanufacturers. If you’re looking into third-party remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, it’s best not to violate Lexmark’s return program agreement.

It’s More Than Just Clean and Refill Each Cartridge

To encourage people to recycle their cartridges, third-party remanufacturers offer easy and convenient cartridge recycling processes which do not disrupt your current office efficiency.

Here in ASE Direct, all you need to do is collect your empty toner cartridges at your office and let us know about it. We’ll send you a pre-paid shipping label to send them to us. Once we receive your cartridges, our technicians sort them according to their level of wear. Each cartridge is cleaned and inspected. Damaged or worn out pieces are replaced.

Cartridges can be reused as much as possible, so those which arrive too badly damaged or worn out are saved for parts to repair other cartridges. This process minimizes waste, helping to reduce the number of cartridges which end up in the landfill.

There’s also a rigorous quality and performance testing process on refurbished cartridges. Testing specifications should match or exceed industry performance benchmarks to ensure that your printing doesn’t experience banding, smearing or other unsightly quality issues.

This robust testing enables us to offer a 100% guarantee for the cartridges you receive. You won’t receive any dead-on-arrival cartridges from us.

Recycling Print Cartridges Reduces the Carbon Footprint of Your Office’s Supply Chain

Despite their seemingly innocuous nature, printer cartridges have a tremendous impact on the environment from manufacturing to beyond disposal. The production of modern cartridges is resource-intensive, emitting 4.8kg (10.6 pounds) of CO2 into the atmosphere. Likewise, the steel and plastic components do not break down in the landfill. If that isn’t bad enough, toners and printing inks contain heavy metals and volatile organic compounds. As such, they’re considered hazardous waste and it’s illegal to throw them in the trash in many places. Nonetheless, offices throw away over 375 million ink and toner cartridges every year and 70 percent of those are neither recycled nor disposed of properly.

Recycling your cartridges is an easy and effective way to make a tangible impact on the environment. In addition to the carbon dioxide which isn’t emitted in production by replacements, ASE Direct estimates that keeping those 375 million cartridges out of the landfill helps save four million cubic feet of landfill space each year. That’s the equivalent of 46 Olympic-size swimming pools filled with cartridges, or 257,143 elephants worth of CO2.

Make the Switch Today

Supply chain management involves looking for ways to reduce costs without also cutting the quality you deliver to your customers. Switching to remanufactured printer cartridges is a smart and strategic way to cut costs and introduce sustainability without sacrificing print quality or performance.

ASE Direct offers refurbished ink and toner cartridges which are both free from intellectual property concerns and perform to standards which meet or exceed OED standards. Reach out and contact us to get started today to learn how ASE Direct can meet your business’s office equipment needs.

Topics: remanufactured printer cartridges, recycled toner cartridges, Toner cartridges, environment

Author: ASE Direct Team