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How to Recycle Your Old Printers

Do you have an old printer or a closet of old printers that need to be removed? Some customers we have seen have hundreds of printers that need to be recycled, and it can become pretty daunting.

We have helped companies manage their printers for years. Part of print management centers around life cycle management of old printers.

In this article we will cover some important considerations when you are ready to recycle your printers.

Electronics Recycling Is Not Trash

The first thing to know is your old printers or copiers are not trash. They are electronic office equipment with heavy metals and a need to be properly recycled to a qualified recycler. 

There are heavy metals, and if you simply toss the printer in the trash and it goes to the landfill, these metals can seep into the water supply and harm the people in the community.

When dealing with electronic solid waste, the goal is to get as much of the device as possible recycled rather than dumped. The ink cartridge is the same way; recycling is a much better option than simply tossing it into the trash.

Problem with Some Recycling

When you send your printer to a standard recycler who does not do electronic recycling, you may find these products are put on a barge and sent overseas for small children to go through and result in birth defects, bad water and burning trash. 

How About Staples, Office Depot or Best Buy Programs?

We don’t know for sure what each of these companies does or who they recycle with, but our general suggestion would be to find a recycling partner who is a certified electronics recycler, rather than a generic recycling company.

Protect Your Data

Another benefit of electronics recyclers is that they know how to destroy and dispose of hard drives. Would you want your printer to be stuck in a shipping container with a hard drive in it with patient or client records still on the hard drives? 

By using an appropriate electronics recycler, you can request Department of Defense (DOD)-level hard drive disposal or reformatting to ensure your data has been removed for you. It is best to have the old printers reset to factory default, where the overwrite on the hard drive is up to the security level of the Department of Defense.

Why Are We So Focused on Electronic Waste?

We are a little obsessed about correctly recycling electronics waste because this is a huge issue a lot of companies do not take seriously enough. We’re sharing this link to electronic stewardship to help readers better understand the issues that are still out there.

We offer programs to help our clients not just with the repair and supplies of their printers and toner, but we can also help put together a recycling program your company can be proud of. If you would like help putting together a plan to deal with the disposal of your laser printers, we would love to be able to help. 

Maybe we would help you set a collection schedule. Maybe we would provide recycling bins. Maybe it would involve curbside recycling. Ultimately, it would be a solution we would help you accomplish cooperatively.

If you have a bunch of printers you need recycled, please give us a call, and we can help you get on the right track with your printer recycling. There is no need to keep all your printers in closets, when they can be safely and cheaply recycled.