Recycle or Re-Sell? How to Dispose of Old Printers and Plotters
Once your printer reaches the end of its life, you might be unsure about how to dispose of old printers. What do you do with your old plotter or printer? Is it best to re-sell or recycle it? What is the best for both your wallet and the environment?
Typically, the best way to dispose of an old printer or plotter is to recycle it. Old printers typically lose much of their value after periods of heavy use, and their parts are no good for re-selling. But where can you recycle these old printers? Is there a store you can drop it off at, or can you place it in your recycle bin?
Here, we'll explore how to dispose of old printers and plotters and help you make the right decision based on your available options.
How Do You Dispose of an Old Plotter?
If you're not sure how to dispose of old plotters, there are several ways to get these devices off your hands in a responsible way. For example, you can:
- Donate your printer to a local educational institution or charity organisation
- Pass it on to someone who could use it, like a friend or family member
- Sell it online or via a pawn shop
Also, keep in mind that manufacturers will often take your old devices when they are no longer useful to you. For instance, HP makes recycling your old printers easy and entirely free in most cases.
However, you should avoid taking irresponsible steps in electronics recycling, as this solid waste often becomes potentially hazardous waste in certain environments. Like other types of electronic waste, no part of a plotter is biodegradable. So it's important to take it to a recycling centre that's capable of safe printer disposal if you don't plan on re-selling or giving it to another place that will take it.
How Do You Recycle Old Large Format Printers?
If you have an old large format printer you want to get rid of, recycling old printers the right way is vital to avoid creating unnecessary and harmful waste. Many electronics today contain plenty of recyclable and sustainable materials. But they also contain a variety of toxic components, including chemicals such as cadmium and lead, that require proper disposal. Because of this, simply putting your printer in the recycle bin isn't advisable.
To properly recycle old printers, you can take several specific different actions, such as:
Leave Your Printer at a Recycling Centre
Many locations offer recycling programs that take printers, along with other electronics. Look for local recycling centres and various nonprofits that accept electronic equipment. You're likely to find many places that are willing to take your used printer or old plotter off your hands.
Bring Your Printer to a Tech Company
Another option is to leave your printer with an electronics manufacturer in your area. Many of these companies have a recycling program that facilitates electronic waste recycling.
For example, big brands like Staples, Best Buy, and other retail outlets will gladly take your old printers. Platforms like Amazon also make it convenient to recycle printers and other electronics, offering gift cards in exchange for electronic equipment and other used items.
Donate Used Printers to Nonprofits or Charities
Many charities and nonprofit organisations also accept printers in nearly any condition, whether functional or not. Donating your printer will help ensure it goes toward a good cause and doesn't simply wind up causing harm to the environment.
There are several channels to donate your old printer or plotter, such as eBay for Charity and Dell Reconnect.
Generally, there's no shortage of places for your used printer, regardless of its current condition. Taking the right steps will help keep it from contributing harmful waste and increase environmental protection in your area.
What Parts Can Be Salvaged From a Plotter Printer?
With a better idea of how to dispose of old plotter printers, you may also wonder what specific useful parts you can salvage from them. You may be able to sell these parts individually or repurpose them for use in other printing equipment.
If you want to recycle old printers, the following are some of the specific parts you can salvage and even reuse:
- Solenoid actuators: Many printers contain solenoid actuators that help move certain internal components to perform a specific action. They work by generating a magnetic field when an electric current travels through them. This enables the device to move a connected part. These components can activate switches and more in other devices.
- Power supplies: Printers contain power supplies, typically in the form of alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) converters.
- Fans: Some printers also contain DC fans that help keep the internal components cool during operation.
- Motors: Printers may have a variety of motors that enable operation. Office and home printers typically contain smaller motors, while industrial printers tend to hold larger ones.
- Miscellaneous mechanical parts: Printers could also have many springs, cylinders, rods, belts, gears, and other components that hold the printer and its other components together.
- Small electronics such as switches and sensors: You might find other components in an old printer. These include different types of switches, temperature sensors often found in laser printers, and optical gates that sense moving components passing them.
- Ink cartridges: Of course, you can also recycle your old plotter printer's toner and ink cartridges.
Turn to HP to Meet Your Printing Needs
Now that you know more about how to dispose of old plotter printers, you can take the right steps to recycle or donate your printer to ensure proper disposal. You can leave your printer with various companies and organisations. Alternatively, you can even reuse individual parts for other projects and equipment.
If you need to recycle an old HP plotter printer and want to purchase a new one for your operations, HP is here to provide you with everything you need. Contact us today to learn more about how we can meet your printing needs.
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