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Start Your Own Cartridge Recycling Program and Raise Money for Your Charity

Do you enjoy donating your time and energy to help charitable organizations raise money during these tough economic times? Many of us ponder the meaning of life from time to time, but not all of us stand up and actually do something about it. The conclusion reached by many generous individuals out there is that giving back to the community is a both rewarding and enjoyable activity. Non-profits devoted to helping our fellow man are notorious for having thin budgets. Unfortunately, donations to these programs tend to lessen even more when disposable income is under pressure. As a result, fundraising activities assume paramount importance when the business cycle is unforgiving.

Even when the economy isn't booming, there are still many ways to give back. Charity sports events and special sales put on by cooperating vendors are generally the most common of these efforts, but there are no limits as to how creative and resourceful you can be. One charitable initiative still gaining momentum is dedicated to recycling toxic products we definitely don't want to end up in our landfills or incinerators: printer ink and toner cartridges.

If you're interested, there are several organizations available that will gladly help you set up a cartridge recycling program, one notable one being .net. Shelteralliance proudly declares itself the “The Nation's Leading Online Laser Toner, Inkjet Cartridge and Cell Phone Virtual Recycling Center." In fact, the following statement (also taken from their website) is indicative of the issues involved and the support offered:

“Every year over 400 million cell phones, inkjet and laser toner cartridges are thrown away. Recycle 4 Charity is providing communities throughout the United States (except Alaska, Hawaii and PR) with a proactive solution to waste reduction. Our innovative and cutting-edge recycling programs simplify the collection process with free nationwide UPS shipping. We offer you FREE boxes and a single facility for recycling all your printer cartridges from different manufacturers and all cell phones. Your participation will help raise much needed cash for charities we support. By re-purposing waste into reusable products, we help create American jobs and save natural resources like oil and landfill space.”

It is quite easy to open an online account at  and participate in their cartridge recycling program. The firm also provides contributors with free shipping labels and boxes, so it won't cost you a cent to make sure your printer ink is properly disposed of.

Beyond just recycling printer ink used in the comfort of your home, if you really want to help the cause you can work with local businesses and collect even more items that can be recycled throughout your community, including inkjet cartridges, laser toner cartridges, cell phones and small electronics (laptops, MP3 Players, GPS devices, digital cameras). If you're not sure whether or not you can recycle a certain item, check out the website to see a complete list of accepted items (pretty much every major brand in the electronics industry is included). Recycling processing plants are capable of processing thousands of items on a daily basis, so it's almost impossible to collect too many recyclables for them.

If you want to size the market, the EPA has already stated that around 130 million cell phones are thrown away every year. Other studies actually claim that every year 75% of all ink and toner cartridges in the United States—another 450 million units—are thrown in the trash instead of being recycled. So what are you waiting for? Sign up today, or gather together your most charitable friends and have at it in your local community. The hard part is already done for you, so all you have to do now is follow through and protect the environment in the process—a “win-win” for sure!

Next article Humane Society Now Accepting Empty Ink and Toner Cartridges for Recycling Donations

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