How ERI Recycles Copy Machines

Large, office-scale copy machines contain many recyclable elements, including metals, plastics and glass. Toner cartridges, when removed intact from their housing, can be effectively refilled and reused on the secondary market. The digital boards and breakage boards within can also be stripped intact and recycled. The hard drives within can be reused, but should be properly wiped of all data before proceeding.

ERI’s recycling technicians carefully dismantle copy machines piece by piece and sort by material composition. Many copiers contain mercury bulbs, which need to be carefully removed from their housing and safely contained to prevent possible environmental contamination.

Once these elements have been safely removed from the copy machines, ERI shreds the remainder of the machine to be broken down further into recyclable elements. Click the video below to see our shredders in action as they break down copy machines.



Circuit Board








Ink cartridges take more than 1,000 years to fully break down and decompose if sent to a landfill. (Source:

For every 1 million ink cartridges that are recycled, we save more than 100 tons of aluminum, 400 tons of plastic and more than 2.5 million gallons of oil. (Source:

More than 29 million hard-copy devices (which includes copiers) were sold in 2010. (source: EPA)

11.2 million hard-copy devices were recycled in 2010, weighing approximately 97,000 tons. (source: EPA)