Just about everything is recyclable. One way or the other everything will return to dust at some point in the future. The only differences are how quickly and in what form will they get there. Recycling is a process that helps the products along their path in the right way. The mantra of “reduce-reuse-recycle” is all tied up in the recycling process regardless of the fact that “recycle” is used in the mantra. Unfortunately, some items shoot right through the recycling process to turn to dust after only a few product life cycles. Others, however, take longer to get through the recycling process – which is where reduce, reuse parts come in- and stick around for a second, third fourth and more lives. These are the products environmentalists like and are often the easiest to recycle.
The most and easiest material to recycle
The most recycled material on the planet is steel. For the most part, this is due to the number of cars manufactured and the amount of commercial construction waste generated each year. Steel is a great reuse item because it can be melted and recast without losing integrity. Steel as a commodity is also priced such that it is easily justifiable to reuse. In many cases, the next printer case you see may be recycled steel or something close to it. Printers are notoriously associated as a price loss leader so cheap steel and components need to be found; used and recycled again if they are to be considered viable recycled products.
Aluminum cans are a recycled product that most will be familiar with. They may not be the most recycled product but they can be considered one on the most beneficially recycled where trash and aluminum prices are concerned. Your next printer likely won’t have much aluminum from cans in it but it will help with other areas of printing like markers in the ink.
We’ve seen the recycled products being used in components of a printer, but what about recycling the printer as well. You may not think about it all that much, but there are quite a few minerals in computer peripherals like printers, towers and monitors. Individually, each printer or tower may not hold all that much in terms of recyclable gold and silver product but put a few hundred thousand together and you’ll have a few pennies to rub together.
Maybe not steel
In many printers, there is a good amount of steel included. For the most part, however, they are comprised of plastic. Plastic makes up the most waste by volume in our waste stream and is readily recyclable into computer shells and more specifically printer components. Although there are many products that may not be the most recycled, in whatever measured you might consider, the world’s population is starting to recycle just about anything they can think of. Yard waste is a very big category; glass is a large category while paper and cardboard are perhaps the most profitable categories. When you look around, you may also consider; the carpet you’re standing on, the filters your furnace uses and the waste fluids you use every day when recycling.
This Article is written by John C Arkin.
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