NORTHSIDE residents recycled more than 14,000 used printer cartridges in the past year.
The figures were provided by Planet Ark as they celebrated the fact more than 3.5 million cartridges were returned for recycling or remanufacture nationwide.
In north Brisbane, the number of cartridges recycled by postcode in the past year included:
- 4017 (Bracken Ridge, Brighton, Deagon, Sandgate, Shorncliffe) - 988
- 4018 (Fitzgibbon, Taigum) - 111
- 4034 (Aspley, Boondall, Carseldine, Geebung, Zillmere) - 6207
- 4036 (Bald Hills) - 428
- 4014 (Banyo, Nudgee, Virginia) - 6270
Planet Ark Recycling Programs Manager Ryan Collins said a key factor in this success was the industry's willingness to participate in the voluntary product stewardship scheme, which ensured the environmental impact of their products was responsibly managed at the end of their useful life.
He said, collectively, the participating cartridge manufacturers Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta and Kyocera had helped Australians divert 34 million cartridges from landfill, which was equivalent to more than 14,500 tonnes of materials, since the program began in 2003.
"Working within a closed loop or circular process, like the 'Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' program which allows us to recover and reuse valuable materials and keep them circulating, is essential,” Mr Collins said.
"It doesn't make good business sense to send useful and valuable materials to landfill when they can be salvaged and directed back into the economy.
"We're particularly proud of the fact that the program has consistently achieved zero waste to landfill every year.”
Mr Collins said printer cartridges could take between 450 and 1000 years to break down in landfill, and e-waste was the fastest-growing form of waste.
"Rapid innovation, decrease in product lifespan and declining prices of both electronics and raw materials have led to more and more items being discarded.
"So it's vital, for the environment and a viable manufacturing industry, that the concept of a closed loop production cycle is embraced.”
Once they are collected, used cartridges are sorted and, depending on their type, returned to the manufacturer for remanufacturing, or dismantled, with plastics, metals, toner and ink collected for recycling by resource recovery partner Close the Loop.
Even the bags and ties that help transport the cartridges once the collection box is full get recycled.
Aluminium, steel and up to six different types of plastic can be retrieved from used cartridges to make a variety of new products including cartridges, pens, rulers, eWood which is used to make park benches, fencing and garden beds, and TonerPave, an asphalt additive that improves the performance and longevity of roads.
Here's a list of north Brisbane locations where you can recycle your ink cartridges:
- Australia Post, 59 Albany Creek Road
- Harvey Norman, 1411-1419 Gympie Road
- Officeworks, 1430-1434 Gympie Road
- Australia Post, 2095 Gympie Road
- The Good Guys, Carseldine Homemaker Centre
- Australia Post, 250 Telegraph Road
- Zillmere Stationery, 115 Robinson Road East
- Australia Post, 1 Bowser Parade
- Officeworks, 1836 Sandgate Road
- Buyequip, 194 Zillmere Road
For more information visit www.cartridges.planetark.org or call 1300 763 768.