So we all talk about recycling and I like to believe that most of us are concerned enough about it to actually do our part to that end. In our industry which is involved in recycling the empty ink and toner cartridges that come from the small home user to the largest corporations we try to collect as many of these empties as we possibly can and get them into the recycling stream. One of the problem components of this recycling process has always been what to do with the powder toner. Well, here’s one man that has found an answer.
Industry expert Angus Carnie has come up with a way to reuse toner powder that in the past had to be disposed of in our landfills. He has managed to create cartridge parts and components with toner powder using a casting process. ”It has always been my intention to create actual parts or cartridge casings from the waste toner powder, as this seems the most logical route and forms a closed loop scenario”, Carnie stated. Now that’s what I call innovation! HP, Canon, Lexmark and Epson should be throwing their massive financial clout into research like this instead of bashing the recycling industry in the name of making greater and greater profits on the already overpriced ink and toner they sell.
One of the most significant costs associated with the disposal of waste toner is the transportation of this product. But if more companies would embrace this new technology, that problem should resolve itself because the waste would never have to leave their facility. Carnie states that he designed the process so that it works just as well for the small recycler (like your local ink & toner shop) as for the largest remanufacturer. “I produced the shapes in the Kitchen of my office” Carnie said, so the machinery would not be cost prohibitive. This guy has thought of everything. Carnie also elaborated on the production process involved in making the toner bottle from the powder, stating: “When you consider the ever-increasing cost of disposal and the increasing environmental restrictions on this material, the cost is very comparable.”
He is very hopeful that in the near future the large OEM’s and manufactures may look into this new technology and actively take part in powder recycling. What Carnie has come up with is what is called “Closed Loop Recycling” which is defined as: A production system in which the waste or byproduct of one process or product is used in making another product. Recycling waste newspaper to make paper-board or other types of paper is a good example of closed loop recycling. This is exactly what Carnie has done.
Carnie understands that there always will be some recycler’s that do not care about recycling the powder but when this system becomes integrated and common place it just may be that the powder will be traded to larger remanufacturers or even OEM’s instead of just being thrown into a landfill. At that point the business that are using the toner to reproduce parts will be paying for the toner powder so instead of the small manufacturer paying to ship the toner to a landfill the larger remanufacturer will be paying him for it, this is a win win situation.
According to Carnie the OEMs will embrace his process and use it as a marketing opportunity. He feels that in the near future a global OEM will announce a zero landfill cartridge by incorporating his process into the total recycling effort. This would be huge for the recycling efforts worldwide. Not only that, Carnie has stated that he has managed to invent glue from waste toner products, we are wondering what else Angus Carnie can make out of waste toner powder! We here at Ink & Toner Solutions take our hats off to Angus Carnie for these achievements!