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How to Safely Dispose of an Old Printer - All You Need to Know

1st Nov 2020

How to Safely Dispose of an Old Printer - All You Need to Know

Most homes and businesses have at least one printer. Whether it's used several times a day or once a month, these printers will age just as quickly as their computer counterparts. 

After purchasing a new printer, your first challenge is figuring out what to do with the old model. 

Don't toss it into the trash. There are a handful of different things that you can do to remove the product without harming the environment.

Understanding the Importance of Safe Disposal

A handful of toxic chemicals are in printing ink and toner cartridges alone. 

The plastic housing, printed circuits, and other components also pose a threat to the environment. 

Because of this knowledge, most states have strict rules against dumping printers. In fact, huge corporations have been charged and fined over the years as they learned the wrong way to dispose of printers, states Business News Daily.

In most cases, the materials within a standard printer can be reused in some way. 

As the globe contends with climate change, the smallest changes in your business habits make a huge impact on the world at large.


Option 1: Break it Apart

Your printer may be outdated and slow. It's not necessarily broken. Consider this printer as a parts source. 

Many businesses use the same printer model throughout their offices, which means that one of them is probably still in use. 

If a unit breaks down that you'd like to keep, swap the bad parts for good ones off of the "trashed" printer.

Parts that can be reused include:

  • Toners
  • Drums
  • Paper supports
  • Output tray extensions

  • Most printers have some form of PCB or printed circuit board within their construction. Swap it out if the machine continues to malfunction. It can work well without trashing the parts in the end. You'll eventually use most of the parts from the old printer, which essentially disposes of it piece by piece.

    Option 2: Recycle Old Printers

    Recycling is the way to go when it comes to disposing of an old printer. 

    Your local recycling center will tell you what to do with your outdated computer peripherals, like printers and scanners. Some recycling centers may charge a fee to recycle your old computer equipment, but they'll reuse, recycle, and repurpose every part of your old electronic equipment. Most of the materials end up in new products that are used in a variety of industries.


    Option 3: Donate Printer

    Another option for your printer is giving it to a charity. Ask a local charity about their needs for computer peripherals. Some facilities are engaged in collecting, repairing and donating printers to nonprofits and other institutions. 

    In return, you get a tax write-off for your income taxes.

    When you donate your printer, it's being used without ending up in a landfill

    Redistributing your printer can be rewarding as well as reduce your tax bill.


    Option 4: Selling Old Printer

    Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection points out that any peripherals, including printers, cannot be thrown out with the standard trash

    Don't pile the old printers in a storage room, however. Another company or person may have a use for the printer.

    Also, you can sell the old printer for a small fee. Make some money while helping out someone in need! The printer no longer fits your needs, but a student or low-income person may treasure the resource. Clean that old printer up and list it on an auction site!

    According to the European Printing Ink Association, improper printer disposal has a significant environmental impact.  

    Therefore, if you run a business, be sure that everyone understands the protocols involved with asset management. Recycling or reusing the item is the best way to remove it from service. Your new printers will get you up and running in no time!

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