They run an on-line collection programme for mobile phones and ink jet cartridges and re-manufacture new cartridges for resale.
They also work in conjunction with a collective of charities including Battersea Dog and Cats Home, Cambodia Trust, The Children’s Foundation and The Woodland Trust, encouraging each of them to raise awareness of the EOC scheme and in return they give them a share of the revenue raised.
Around 700 million cartridges were thrown away worldwide in 2003 and this has risen year on year since. The recovery and reuse of toner and inkjet cartridges reduces landfill by millions of cubic feet of non-biodegradable material. Each discarded empty laser printer cartridge adds approximately 1.5kgs of unnecessary waste.
Cartridges account for as much as 15,000 tonnes of waste plastic and metal in the UK alone. Even more disturbingly, the plastic used in each printer cartridge is estimated to take 1,000 years to decompose. On arrival at the EOC office, they are physically and electronically checked, cleaned, refilled, and repackaged for resale. Inkjet cartridges that do not pass their stringent quality control process are recycled as scrap and the plastic is used in other products such as canal lining.
Mobile phones are checked and refitted for use in developing countries. Phones that cannot be salvaged are broken down into their component parts and recycled.
Regular readers of my rubbish work will know of my passion for NACOA, the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ll be helping to set up a recycling scheme for them, details to follow on here soon.
If you’d like to help NACOA get out of the starting blocks, just check the list of acceptable products on the EOC home page and hang onto any recyclable products for a few days and I’ll let you know how to request a freepost envelope for NACOA’s own fundraising recycling scheme.