Have a computer or TV to recycle? There’s a free and convenient solution! Have a printer to recycle? It’s not so easy.
That’s why Zero Waste Washington is asking the two biggest printer manufacturers in the U.S. for free and convenient recycling programs for desktop printers. You can join us by sending postcards asking HP and Canon to step up and do more.
We’re asking for something called producer responsibility, and it’s already happening for computers and TVs here in Washington. Throughout the state, you can recycle your computers, monitors, and TVs through the E-Cycle Washington program. Zero Waste Washington fought hard for this manufacturer funded program and, as a result, over 39 million pounds of electronics were recycled last year. That’s about 2,200 units diverted from landfills and incinerators each and every day!
With this approach, manufacturers take responsibility for their products from “cradle to cradle,” including providing and paying for recycling programs. Residents, small business and schools can drop off their unwanted computers, monitors and TVs for free recycling at about 260 locations throughout Washington. The manufacturers have agreed to recycle responsibly, which helps keep our discarded computers and TVs – that contain mercury, lead and other toxic materials - from being sent to developing countries. It’s good for the economy, too. E-Cycle Washington has brought additional recyclers to the state and created close to 80 new jobs.
But printers aren’t collected as part of the E-Cycle Washington program. The 2006 state legislation that mandated the program didn’t include printers or other peripherals. While some manufacturers have voluntarily set up printer mail-back programs (often for a fee), that just isn’t very convenient for most of us.
Zero Waste Washington thinks printer manufacturers can do better! We are working to have producer responsibility for desktop printers in Washington. You can help us make it happen! Please ask HP and Canon to make it easier and more convenient for consumers in Washington to take back printers for recycling. You can click here to sign on and we’ll send postcards to HP and Canon on your behalf.
Here’s one final reason to support producer responsibility. When manufacturers pay to recycle the products they make, they have a financial incentive to design products that are less toxic, longer lasting, and more recyclable. And that means less waste and greener, safer stuff for all of us.
Post written by guest post from Suellen Mele, Zero Waste Washington’s Program Director Zero Waste Washington advocates for the design and production of healthier, safer products that are continually recycled and reused.