So people, or person, who knows who reads these things, Mr. Rickey, having just watched "An Inconvenient Truth" and trying to do my part to save Mother Earth before the coasts flood and we're all forced to live underground, eventually losing the use of our eyes, much like the Morlocks.
I tried to find out how I could recycle three color laser printer drums and two laserprinter cartridges for the good of us all.
First, I contacted the manufacturer, OKIData, whose customer service promptly emailed me back and said they no longer offer recycling on this printer's cartridges and drums as it was no longer in production. Now, I don't know how many of these printer's they sold, but let's say it's 500,000, it would seem to me that there would still be some money in recycling these and selling the toner to people who are still using them. I guess I'm wrong. Now, in Europe, of course, more and more electronics companies are required to recycle their products forever. I will be long dead when that finally becomes the norm in the States, but a guy can dream, right?
So, after striking out with the manufacturer, I looked on line for those companies that buy cartridges to recycle. You know the ones that send you that spam that says you can refill your cartridges for pennies on the dollar, blah, blah, blah. Well, as I looked around, none of them recycled this model either, and why? Because it's out of production, I guess, I don't know, I would think these guys would be interested in the OKIData leftovers. Again, no dice. However, on eBay there were several kits that would allow me to refurbish my own drums. Tempting. However, working for a huge company where things like recycling and innovation are frowned upon, I knew I wouldn't get very far with that plan.
Next, I google recylcing laser cartridges in Arkansas which leads me to The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Yes! Now we're getting somewhere. The website, with a picture of former Arkansas First Lady, Janet Huckabee picking up trash, should be the end of the line for recycling in the Natural State, right? Wrong. Apparently the company they contract with to recycle things like printer cartridges does not recycle laser cartridges, only inkjet, thank you circa 1995.
People, a decent laser printer is probably, oh I don't know, $200 these days. Yes, toner cartridges are a lot more expensive, but they last a lot longer and you don't get the smudging, especially when you highlight things, it's worth the investment, let's all try to get away from inkjet, okay? We got away from the paper with the guide holes on the side, we can get away from inkjet.
So, getting nothing of use from the website, I went old school, and made a phone call to the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. The receptionist didn't seem overly "pumped" about trying to keep the state beautiful and she referred me, almost immediately, to the website. First of all, that fricking chaps my hide. You know what, I called you, can you not have simple information on hand to answer simple questions when someone calls the number you put on the website for help?
- "I'm on the website right now, the company you contract this out to doesn't take laser cartridges, do you have any suggestions?"
Great. After some prodding on my part, she agreed that maybe calling the Solid Waste Department, might get me somewhere. Tard, I'm glad she's getting paid to not be helpful. You would think they could find someone excited about recycling to answer the phone, some birkenstock wearing organic food vegan wearing tie-dye stereotype (this is the anger talking) who could be continually researching how and where to make a difference. Nope.
On to Pulaski County Solid Waste Department and beyond. First of all, on the page I went to, they listed a number for trash scheduling as the info. number....sigh....really?....okay....do you have that number?.....I can hold.....thanks......sigh...... Eventually I talked to someone at solid waste and they referred me to the website....really?...."I'm on the website, it doesn't say much about recycling printer cartridges.....I should call Waste Management, great I'll do that."
Back to Solid Waste. She can't believe they don't recycle that stuff. She doesn't know what to tell me. Then I ask her about the electronics recycling program behind the PULASKI COUNTY JAIL off Roosevelt that is advertised on their webiste. (Who decided this was the best place for a recycling center? I guess they have free-ish labor though.)
"Oh yeah, maybe, I don't know, you'd have to call them." Okay, I'll play along, "Call who?"
She says THE JAIL! At this point, I had to, I had to... "So you think the Pulaski County Sheriff's office will know something about the recycling programs of the city of Little Rock?"
"Well, it is at the jail."
True, it is, goodbye. Hopefully she can get herself home at night. Uhhhhh, so I got back to the internet and I email all the big wigs at Solid Waste. I'm waiting on responses....waiting....still waiting....
Also, in an unrelated rant, the Pulaski County Assessor's website is an unholy mess. Not only are many of the forms and information out dated, the entire thing looks like a site I would put together if I were fifteen and just learning HTML. Why isn't there some standard or I don't know, an office that does just that, IT for the entire county and all it's offices. Instead, is each department making up their own policies and employing their own separate web team??????? Ahhhhh! It's going to be one of those days, I can tell. Oh, wait, apparently all the Pulaski County offices, at least Treasurer and Assessor are using some company to do their websites. This company is awful. They should be stopped. There's not a better option out there? Really? I bet their kid's myspace pages are designed better than this. Whatever, I'm washing my hands of you, I'll just make my own tax forms in Word and attach them. NO ONE HAS TYPEWRITERS ANYMORE, I CAN'T "TYPE or PRINT" THIS....
Confidentially pulling my hair out, Mr. Rickey......
FYI: I have no spellcheck, so I apologize.....