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Lexmark launches recycling program

The company announces the start of a new service under which customers can return used Lexmark-branded printers, in addition to toner cartridges.

Lexmark International on Wednesday announced the start of a new program for recycling used printers and related supplies.

For more than a decade, Lexmark said, it has recovered and reused or recycled spent toner cartridges to help address issues of resource consumption and solid waste disposal. Now, it is extending its services to also take back obsolete printers.

The company is not charging for the recycling service itself, but customers will have to pay to ship the spent equipment. Empty cartridges may also be returned through participating Lexmark resellers. Only Lexmark-branded printers may be returned.

Hardware makers in recent years have been under pressure from environmental groups and some governments to assume responsibility for proper disposal of their used products. For their part, companies like Dell, IBM, Sony and Hewlett-Packard have either begun new recycling programs for consumers and businesses or built upon existing ones. Those programs generally accept PCs, monitors and printers, often regardless of the manufacturer, and costs to the customer range from nothing to about $30.

"Our customers want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment," Paul Curlander, chairman and chief executive officer of Lexmark, said in a statement. "The program provides our customers with a safe and simple way to discard their used printers without harming the environment."