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'Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' turns e-waste into opportunity

Date: 29-Apr-13
Author: Planet Ark

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First it was printer cartridges, then mobile phones, and now televisions and computers. Popular recycling program ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' has set the benchmark for electronics recycling programs in Australia.

Every day more than 546 bags of cartridges are diverted from landfill through ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark', totalling over 21 million cartridges, and 9,800 tonnes of plastics, metals, inks and toners recycled since the program began in 2003. This is equivalent to the weight of 58 blue whales!

This year, with the support of ambassador and seven-times World Champion surfer Layne Beachley and the help of workplaces and the public, the program aims to reach 23 million cartridges recycled nationally.

"By recycling used printer cartridges through ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark', Australians can prevent 1,400 tonnes of valuable resources from going into landfill annually," explained Beachley.

The recycling program is free, convenient, independently audited and coordinated through a network of over 30,000 locations nationwide. Participating manufacturers Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta and Kyocera have partnered with Planet Ark to collectively ensure the responsible recycling of ink, laser cartridges, toner bottles and other items. Printer cartridges can easily be dropped off for recycling in ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' collection boxes, located at all Officeworks and JB Hi-Fi stores and participating Australia Post, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith and The Good Guys outlets. Workplaces may also be eligible for a free collection box. 

Printer cartridges contain valuable metals such as steel, aluminium and copper, as well as ink, toner powder, plastics, rubber, silica and foam, much of which can be recycled, so it's important that people continue to recycle them.

The recycled materials can be turned into pens, rulers, chemical spill clean up kits, and in eWoodTM applications such as park benches, fencing and signs.

"Cartridges collected through the program can be turned into many useful items, including a fantastic picnic table that is up for grabs," said Janet Sparrow, Planet Ark's Recycling Programs Manager. For a chance to win the table, simply guess the number of cartridges needed to make it.

To find your nearest drop-off location for printer cartridges and other e-waste, visit http://recyclingingnearyou.com.au or call the Recycling Hotline on 1300 733 712. For workplace recycling options, visit www.businessrecycling.com.au.

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