Innovative Recycling | Toner Cartidge Recycling

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The Goal
Environmental Stewardship, has always been one of the real selling points to the business of remanufacturing laser cartridges. After all, the best way to recycle anything is to simply reuse
it again for its intended use.  The only problem with this theme is that sometimes cartridges are
simply worn out and can not be reused. 

The Problem
Most companies are very interested in closing the loop for the non reuse cartridges by using
some type of raw material recovery process instead of sending them to the landfill. The problem
is that toner dust presents an all too familiar explosion hazard for typical shredding and separation processes. It is also very expensive to adequately capture nuisance toner dust if the process is manual.

Innovative Recycling is Created
Several years ago Innovative Recycling (a division of Innovative Applications Corporation) in El Paso, won a competition from one of the major laser printer companies to develop a process designed to solve this problem and meet its recycling needs.  The result led to a unique, and very cost effective process that is now recycling 1,500,000 pounds of laser cartridges per month for several printer brands.  The process yields clean and pure streams of separated plastics and metals ready for reuse in other products.     

The Process
The totally automated system essentially processes everything under a liquid.  This solves the
need for inert environments and expensive dust collection.  Clean and pure materials flow out at numerous stages in the process and are ready for immediate reuse.  By processing in batches, customers are also provided accurate materials yield information along with the final
product uses if needed. 

Ink Jet to be added in 2010
Innovative Recycling has patented several key processes in their system which is now in the process of being modified to accommodate Ink Jet Cartridges. This new process for Ink Jet Cartridges is expected to be up and running during 2010. 


Need a way to recycle laser cartridges that you can’t use?  Innovative Recycling has developed a novel process that can meet that need.  The process is fully automated and yields clean raw materials ready for reuse in other products.  The El Paso, Texas operation is also reported to be the world’s largest recycler specializing in laser cartridges.

Lacee Lamphere, Innovative’s  President, says that the process was far more technically
challenging than they anticipated.  “IAC has a history of process development that includes
a high level of engineering, but this project was particularly challenging for us.  The result
though, is a very novel and efficient process that meets all of our customer’s safety and
environmental needs.” 

Mr. Lamphere explains that the toner dust is not only an environmental nuisance, but can easily become an explosion hazard.  “Solving those problems, in a cost effective method, led us to several innovations that we were able to patent.  We are now able to offer the service to customers, or simply license the process for local operations.” 

Lamphere says that the process was not only challenging, but expensive.  “Achieving the capacity and development at Innovative Recycling has represented an investment of over 7 million dollars for IAC.  The pay off though, has been the excellent results.  The process gives customers the assurance of safe recycling with a goal of 100% reuse of all raw materials.” 

“Because we recycle in batches, we are able to provide customers with accurate materials yield information along with the final product uses if needed.  And, with a capacity of 150,000 pounds per day, we are able to offer customers very competitive pricing.”

Innovative Recycling is also working on a process for recycling ink jet cartridges that they expect to have ready before year end 2010.



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