Inexpensive printers are a disposable commodity these days. It’s easy enough to pick up a decent ink jet printer for under $100. When that $100 printer stops working, just buy a brand new printer, with fresh cartridges, and simply start over. Why spend hours troubleshooting something if you’re going to have to spend $60 on new cartridges anyhow?
So that’s what I did…got that .Mac renewal gift certificate, and ordered up a snazzy new printer.
My plan was to grab a beer, a hammer, and a screwdriver, and see what recyclable pieces I could get out of the old one. And I’ll admit, I started down that path with a bit of glee, a la Office Space.
But the truth is, I’d much rather repair something of quality than trash something like this. And I think many of us miss out on the pleasure of repairing or having repaired objects. These are our tools — wouldn’t it be nice if they could give us the same pleasure as a old treasured baseball glove with new lacings, or a nicely worn tool with a new blade?
In any case, I just got into the dismantling when I realized that I wasn’t really sure if this plastic was recyclable by our local service or not. And so I turned to Google.
Aha! All is revealed. In my case, Lexmark has a free recycling program that fits the bill nicely (I hope they won’t mind getting one that’s somewhat in pieces). Here’s a list of printer recycling sources I found pretty quickly:
Epson (fee-based, but with a coupon for a new product).
Dell has a program for printers and computers for a fee.
Don’t miss Schuyler’s weblog,
Bringing Linux to Third World Communities, for ideas on recycling computers.
I still think our ultimate goal needs to be to use less altogether, but I’m glad there are some recycling options out there.
Do you have other good leads for recycling — or even better, ways to avoid the need to recycle in the first place?