Buffalo, NY- So you just received a new cell phone as a holiday gift. Or maybe, you purchased some new ink jets for your printer. The question is, what do you do with the cell phone or the empty ink jet cartridges you no longer need?
“Don’t throw them away,” said State Senator Thompson (D-60, Parts of Erie & Niagara Counties). “Recycle them.”
“Only 20 to 40 percent of ink jet cartridges end up being recycled. The rest end up in local landfills, taking up valuable space for a long, long time,” he said. “It takes 1,000 years for an ink jet cartridge to biodegrade. And that has a significant impact on our environment. Recycled cartridges can be reused, refilled and resold to customers at a lower price.”
“Many companies provide postage-free packaging or printable labels you can use to send empty cartridges back to the manufacturer,” he/she said. “Some post offices offer small plastic envelopes where you can place your used cartridge, seal it up and drop it in the mail. You can also search the Internet for places that accept cartridges for cash and offer free shipping in the process.”
Another way to recycle old ink jet cartridges is to donate them to charity. “Recycling old cartridges is one innovative way that schools, church groups, sports teams, and clubs and organizations are raising cash for special projects,” said Senator Thompson. “Calling your local school or any other non-profit organization is a great way to find out who might be willing to take them off your hands.”
Old, unused cell phones should also be recycled, said Senator Thompson. “According to the U.S. EPA, 125 million cell phones are discarded every year, with many of them sharing space with used ink jet cartridges in local landfills. These phones, if recycled, can literally do a world of good.”
Senator Thompson spoke of a nonprofit organization called Call2Recycle, which directs consumers with old phones to local drop boxes, simply by entering their zip code on the website (www.rbrc.org/call2recycle). “These unwanted phones can also be used to save lives,” s/he said. “Many organizations take old phones and reprogram them for use by those in need. The Secure the Call Foundation (1-888-88DONATE/1-888-883-6628; or www.donatemycellphone.org), for example, provides refurbished, 911-enhanced cell phones to domestic violence victims and senior citizens. What better way to bring new life to used phones than by donating them to help save a life?”
Regardless of how you recycle your used ink jet cartridges or cell phones, said Senator Thompson, you’re doing your small part in helping the environment.