It is inevitable. At some point in time, there will be a piece of office equipment that will outlive its usefulness. Whether the equipment simply quits working, new software does not offer support for it, or things that make it run (such as toner) are eliminated from being produced by manufacturers, items such as printers, monitors and flatbed scanners will, at some point, need to be disposed of. Unfortunately, we have become a rather wasteful society. When things quit working, it is often cheaper to buy new than pay for a repair. The question therein lies, how should one properly dispose of office equipment?
The easiest and least environmentally friendly way is to dump it by the side of the road for the garbage collector. However, not only can the equipment take up a significant amount of already limited space in the landfill, these pieces of equipment have things inside of them that can leak dangerous toxins into the ground such as lead, mercury and arsenic. Not only that, but there is no part of office equipment (at least that I’m aware of) that is biodegradable after a certain number of years. So, it merely sits. Imagine how much landfill space could be recouped by removing all of the old technology equipment just from the last ten to twenty years?
So, the question is, what can we do to reduce the effect of old equipment on our valuable resources? Interestingly enough, there are many different businesses that have popped up over the last decade or two that specialize in the disposition of these types of items. Even the City of Jacksonville has a site where equipment is accepted (http://www.coj.net/departments/public-works/solid-waste/recycling/electronic-wastes). This is where I take my equipment to be properly recycled and disposed of. A quick internet search will also yield options that may be more convenient for you.
Please be kind to Mother Earth and keep her healthy for those who currently inhabit her and for future generations. As you can see, it does not take much effort to conserve our natural resources and reduce our carbon footprint.