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Go green! How to recycle old office technology

May 21 2014

Look around your office and you’ll see dozens of items that can be recycled that, in most cases, are being thrown into the regular rubbish bin and left to linger on landfills across the country.

Ink cartridges
In Australia, more than 18 million printer cartridges are used and thrown in landfills greenannually. Cartridges 4 Planet Ark is an organisation with the aim of ending this practice and instead recycling the cartridges, which have a useful mix of plastics and metals that can be easily reused.

Computers and accessories
Many businesses feel like they need to be constantly upgrading their systems so they have the latest and greatest, but the computers, modems and monitors they get rid of can often be easily rehomed. If it's not broken, there's someone who will happily buy the product from your company, while local councils and charities are also happy to take old equipment from you.

General electrical appliances
From clocks and DVD players to fax machines and old phones, businesses go through a lot of electrical problems. Again, a lot of these can be rehomed if working, but even if they’re broken local councils will happily pick them up to reuse certain parts. Certain products, like mobile phones and televisions, have dedicated recycling programs. As with many things, you get what you pay for, so avoiding cheap electronics that are prone to breaking is better for the environment and your company’s budget in the long run.

Office paper
While many offices are becoming paperless workspaces, there are still countless reams of paper that are used and then thrown. Out of all the recyclable materials, this is the easiest to sort out and get picked up, yet many Australian businesses neglect to do even this.

Light bulbs
Not all light bulbs can be recycled, but if your company uses fittings that contain mercury, such as fluorescent globes or metal halides, these can be picked up and recycled by local authorities. Installing long-life bulbs and turning the lights off at night can help reduce the frequency that you need to change your globes.

Many of the products we use on a daily basis, both at home and at work, can be recycled and repurposed, and it’s often simply a case of finding the right

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