December 2005

Envirosmart and Sam’s Club team up to encourage recycling

According to EnviroSmart, nearly eight ink and toner cartridges are thrown away every second in the United States, or about 86% of the total cartridges sold in the country yearly. However, it is estimated that a spent ink cartridge can be reused roughly up to seven times. All of this adds up to a lot of space going to waste in landfills; almost 875 million pounds of waste.

In an effort to reduce these numbers, EnviroSmart has partnered with Sam’s Club to encourage consumers to recycle their spent laser and inkjet cartridges. EnviroSmart has set up kiosks in select Sam’s Clubs that will collect shoppers’ cartridges, or if the shopper forgets to bring them in, the kiosks will provide postage paid envelopes for people to send their cartridges in by mail.

The EnviroSmart kiosks will also collect peoples’ old cell phones. These are sent to ReCellular to be refurbished and reused. Established in 1991, ReCellular is one of the largest buyers, sellers, and recyclers of handheld technology, and is based in Dexter, Michigan.

The ink and laser toner cartridges that EnviroSmart collect are refurbished and sold as remanufactured for less than new cartridges. Currently, however, of the 1.2 billion cartridges that will be sold in the United States this year, only about 100 million will be remanufactured. EnviroSmart hopes that the Sam’s Club kiosks will help boost this number significantly.

Currently there are eleven participating Sam’s Club locations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, and Missouri.

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