21 Aug 2019

How to recycle your old office printers

Reducing your environmental footprint goes beyond using a keep cup for your coffee and keeping a recycling bin in the office. To really have a meaningful and positive impact on the environment, you need to think about the long-term effects of the devices that your business relies on.

Australians love new technology. We’re constantly upgrading to the latest smartphones, laptops, and other devices. However, that often means that our discarded devices are simply thrown away and end up in landfill. That’s a problem because of the hazardous materials contained in these devices, and because many of the materials could have been recycled to minimise their harm to the environment.

That’s not to mention the security issues that come from putting unsecured hard drives into landfill or recycled machines, letting unauthorised people potentially access sensitive information.

Toner cartridges and bottles

Most businesses go through multiple toner cartridges on a regular basis. One toner cartridge can have enormous detrimental effects on the environment, using nearly 3.5 litres of oil to produce and taking up to 1,000 years to decompose. This makes toner cartridge recycling an absolute must-do for any business even remotely interested in reducing their environmental impact.

You can return your empty cartridges to a Planet Ark bin marked Cartridges 4 Planet Ark, where they’ll be sorted, classified, and then recycled, with a zero waste-to-landfill guarantee. Australians have already diverted more than 17 million cartridges from landfill using this program.

Toner bottles contribute to the waste issue. Konica Minolta toner bottles are made of a type of plastic that can be recycled economically. Choosing consumables that make recycling easier is a great way to improve your environmental sustainability.

To get a free recycling box that lets you dispose of all used toner bottles, cartridges, drum units, or fuser kits, just register your business. There’s no cost to your business and it can dramatically reduce your environmental impact.


The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme is a government initiative designed to help you recycle your old printers and other computers and televisions. You can drop your old equipment off at a recycling drop-off point where it will be recycled for free or for a small fee.

It’s important to ensure you have secured your printer before disposing of it. This is because most printers have a hard drive that stores copies of the documents that have been printed. If it falls into the wrong hands, people will be able to access potentially sensitive information, and you could be in breach of privacy laws.

You should secure your hard drive using security options including encryption, automatic data deletion, automatic data overwrite, and password locking. If your printer is being donated or sold, make sure you erase the hard drive. If it’s being recycled, you can destroy the hard drive so it can’t be accessed.

At Konica Minolta, we collect and recycle equipment at the end of its contract life in all of our branches around the country. Furthermore, when equipment is delivered to Australia, we unpack the devices and prepare them for installation at our customers’ premises. We separate all packaging and waste products for recycling. Even polystyrene goes through a crushing process to manufacture different types of diesel fuel.

Whether your printer is nearing the end of its useful life or you’re just ready to upgrade, follow these simple steps to make sure you dispose of your printer in the most secure and environmentally friendly way possible.

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