Xerox not only gave the world a glimpse of the first laser printer, but also invoked socio-environmental responsibility through its recycling program called the Xerox Green World Alliance. Decades after the first laser printer came out, tons and tons of empty toner cartridges have now found its way into landfills; excreting leachage that contaminates underground water and waterways. Moreover, the volume of greenhouses gases pumped into the atmosphere through its production should not be discounted. Laser printers may have helped us accomplish our printing needs, but it has also left a trail of e-garbage that could decompose in 450 years if unattended in dumpsites.
The Xerox Green World Alliance is one such program launched by Xerox that aims to help conserve our rapidly vanishing reserves and likewise limit the influx of environmental pollutants by recycling empty OEM toner cartridges. In the United States alone, over 110 million toner cartridges are disposed annually. If piled vertically, its height and bulk could equal the 110 floors Sears Tower. Consequently, around $15 billion is required to manufacture these cartridges – that is by the way, 10 times the construction cost of the Sears Tower.
How does the Xerox Green World Alliance operate its recycling program? Xerox Corporation inked a partnership with logistics giant UPS. Through the transport facilities of UPS, empty toner cartridges accumulated in UPS pickup points are fetched and ferried to the recycling plants of Xerox Corporation. The process relevant to individual cartridge returns is itemized as follows:
Consumers who wish to avail of the Xerox Recycling program can log on to Xerox’s website and print pre-paid UPS shipping labels that are uniquely bar-coded (maximum of 15 at a time) for each pack intended for return. Pack the used toner cartridge using the same packaging or carton from which the item came in and affix the shipping label – one label for each package. Each printed label contains a foolproof tracking number and bar code. Use of photocopied or reproduced shipping label is not advised. Hand in your packed item to the UPS representative once your new consumable purchase is delivered. Individual returns can also be dropped off at UPS pick-up points or outlets. Pick up is encouraged by calling1-800-PICK-UPS (742-5877) or transacting online at www.ups.com– indicating the package as an ARS Return Shipment. Xerox now makes recycling more convenient to its consumers through in-house recycling services that drastically cuts down office and household printing waste and in the process help save the environment.We should not always rely on Xerox Corporation for the recycling of unused toner cartridges. Do-it-yourself projects such as refilling empty toner cartridges with compatible toner refill kits is a simple act of recycling that is of tremendous help to global conservation efforts.”