How to Dispose of Old Copiers
By Josh Fredman
Copy machines are an essential fixture of office life in America, but when disposed of improperly they become a threat to the environment and human health. According to the Better Business Bureau, copy machines contain regulated toxins like mercury, lead and cadmium. This means you can't simply throw your old copier in the dumpster when it outlives its usefulness. Fortunately, millions of other people are in the same position, and, because of all that demand, you have many different disposal and recycling programs to choose from.
Safe Disposal Options
Check the manufacturer's website to see if they run a collection program. According to the Better Business Bureau, the manufacturer may be able to send someone directly to your home or office to pick up your unwanted copier. If not, check with the store where you bought the copier, or any store in your area that sells large electronics or appliances; they may also have disposal programs. Failing that, call your local recycling center or check the website of your state's environmental department to see if there is an "e-cycling" program in your area. Larger towns and cities may also have private businesses that specialize in e-cycling.
If your copier still works, consider reselling or donating it. Local schools, small businesses, charities and nonprofits often need equipment that they can't afford to buy, and your trash may become their treasure. Finding an organization in need isn't always easy, though. Contact your town or city hall to see if they have any community outreach leads, or get in touch with any people you may know who work for a community organization. Alternatively, some electronics shops may take your copier and refurbish it for resale. If all else fails, place an ad in your local classified listings.
Josh Fredman is a freelance pen-for-hire and Web developer living in Seattle. He attended the University of Washington, studying engineering, and worked in logistics, health care and newspapers before deciding to go to work for himself.