INCENTIVES GROW FOR RECYLING CARTRIDGES

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INCENTIVES GROW FOR RECYLING CARTRIDGES

 user 2006-01-12 at 10:48:00 am Views: 57
  • #13544

    Incentives grow for recycling
    Pressure from charities could force IT vendors to pay more attention to green issues this year
     Jan 2006Faced with compelling evidence that leather belts do not, after all, shrink with regular usage, I have decided that some dieting is probably in order. I suspect the seasonal folly of such New Year resolutions is doomed to failure, but perhaps the current interest in IT hardware recycling will last longer than my temporary aversion to snacks.
    A new year always sees recycling companies trying to get us to adopt good habits, presumably while we are in the mood for a new start. But 2006 already seems more active than usual in this area, with the children’s cancer charity Clic Sargent making a big splash about its printer ink cartridge recycling programme, and even London’s mayor, Ken Livingstone, promoting a mobile phone “amnesty” in aid of the National Missing Person’s Helpline (NMPH).
    There is nothing new about companies doling out a few green pennies to charity as part of a public relations drive, but Clic Sargent is set to receive £1 per ink cartridge, and NMPH will get a fiver per handset.
    These campaigns aim to show that the small effort of recycling disposable office materials can make a decent financial contribution to charity, as well as being good for the environment.
    Prior to initiatives such as these, recycling at work has not been much of an effort at all. It might give you a warm glow to drop old printouts into the green recycling bins in your office, but I have often seen such bins being emptied by office cleaners into the same bags as all the other rubbish destined for landfill. On many occasions I have tried to offer old PCs for recycling, but unless you have dozens to give away at once, no one is prepared to collect.
    The recycling concept itself also seems to be something of a one-way street, at least in IT manufacturing. I see a lot of labels indicating that the materials in various new devices are “recyclable” but very few that indicate that they have already been “recycled”.
    I brought this up a few years ago when an HP representative stated that a laser toner cartridge, when returned empty by customers, would be recycled into spectacle frames. When I asked why the old toner cartridges were not simply recycled into, well, new toner cartridges, I was regarded as some kind of idiot.
    The fact is the IT industry only dabbles in recycling if it makes for good PR. But with charities now making a big noise about the issue, I would like to think that manufacturers will do more to facilitate the identification, collection and genuine recycling of old equipment from under our desks, if not out of conviction, at least out of the potential embarrassment at being left out.