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 user 2013-06-23 at 4:10:20 am Views: 75
  • #2121

    What happens to the cartridges?

    All of the cartridges collected will be returned to Close The Loop™ where they will be sorted and processed.

    Most laser cartridges are sent to the original equipment manufacturers for their remanufacturing or component recovery programs. All inkjet cartridges, toner bottles and drum units are processed to recycle their component materials into new products.

    The Green Machine processes the cartridges to separate and recycle their component parts. Inkjet cartridges are processed through another machine, which also uses patented world-first technology. This machine recycles both used and faulty cartridges. Both machines result in all of the component materials being recovered, with none sent to landfill.


    First, the used cartridges, drums, and photoconductor units are sorted into more than 30 different categories/batches. They are then processed by batch through the patented, Australian-made Green Machine, which reduces the cartridges to smaller particles that can be more easily separated. This waste stream is a complex mix of potentially hazardous raw materials needing state of the art equipment for safe processing and handling.

    The different materials that are used to make cartridges have a wide range of physical and chemical properties. The state of the art processes developed by Close the Loop™ use these differing material properties to separate them. For example, ferrous metals such as steel are separated using sophisticated magnets (pictured).

    The end result of this process is the recovery of relatively uncontaminated 'raw' materials. These 'secondary raw materials' are further filtered, upgraded and then used instead of virgin materials in normal manufacturing to make new products. The ultimate aim is to return the raw materials back to the original equipment manufacturer for reuse in new cartridges.

    Everything from the plastics, aluminum, steel and toner powder is recycled. Even the ink from inkjet cartridges is used in lower grade printing applications.


    The materials that make up 'waste' cartridges are actually valuable, non-renewable materials, which can be used by a wide range of industries to make new products. Recovered materials are reused for the following:

    • Toner – Black concentrate for colouring plastics.

    • Aluminium – Smelting into new aluminium for cans and other aluminium products.

    • Steel – Smelting into new steel products, including structural steel beams for building.

    • Foam -Made into rebonded foam and used for carpet underlay and matting.

    • Inkjet inks – Used for low grade commercial and industrial printing and dying applications.

    • Plastics – Plastics are currently granulated, filtered and made into a range of plastic products, including furniture, park benches and promotional products, such as rulers.

    * Post was edited: 2004-09-18 09:45:00