Toner is a necessary part of business today. Although we strive to move toward a paperless office, business owners across America know that paper is a critical component of executing day-to-day business processes. And with paper comes toner. But as the printers and multifunction devices evolve to become technology powerhouses that are able to streamline workflows and increase efficiency, toner is much the same as it always has been. So, how do we, as global citizens who are conscious of our impact on the planet, ensure that we are responsible in our disposal of printer consumables? Read on to learn more about how toner impacts our earth and how one small change can make a big difference.

The Problem
Millions of inkjet and laser printer cartridges are used in the United States each year, with approximately 95 percent of those cartridges ending up in landfills. Considering that a medium-sized business uses between 900 and 1,600 toner cartridges a year or more, the sheer volume of cartridges that are taking up our already-limited landfill space is astounding. Moreover, did you know that it takes 1,000 years to biodegrade an ink cartridge? The composition of each cartridge includes hazardous materials despite the fact that they are empty, which has an even greater negative impact on the surrounding environment.

The Solution
Simply put, recycling your toner cartridges is an easy way to make a big environmental impact. Rather than throwing away an empty cartridge, you can either reuse a cartridge by refilling it with new toner or recycle it. (Just make sure you recycle reused cartridges when their lifecycle is up.) Dedicated toner recycling programs are open to businesses across the country. The process is simple: you just print a free, pre-paid shipping label and mail your empty inkjet and laser toner cartridges to a dedicated recycling company to recycle for you. There are even options to coordinate shipping of 300 or more cartridges at a time, making it difficult for business owners to make excuses not to recycle. Nearly all Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) spearhead recycling programs for toner cartridges that end-users like you can opt into, including all of Golden Gate Office Solutions’ OEM partners.

To help make a difference, contact Golden Gate Office Solutions today to learn more about toner recycling programs that you can be part of. Also, check out Golden Gate Office Solutions’ own sustainability initiatives, including our partnerships with Toshiba’s Close the Loop Recycling Program and PrintReleaf.