Photos: Inside Ricoh's 'Green Centre'

Photos: Inside Ricoh's 'Green Centre'

Summary: Doing it for the kids and the planet... and the bottom line...

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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  • Originally the facility was filled with units which had been stockpiled over previous years and which had been taking up space in third party warehouses – effectively throwing away money renting space - as well as being spread across multiple Ricoh sites. That backlog has been cleared now and the facility is constantly taking delivery of newly returned units - currently at an increasing rate of around 200 per month and counting.

    The keen-eyed may spot one of the units is a Canon copier. Ricoh says it will process kit from rival companies, though Tom Wagland, environmental manager at Ricoh UK, believes some rivals are less accommodating of Ricoh kit when it turns up at their own facilities.

    He says of one rival: "They just crush any Ricoh stuff that they get."

    Photo: Will Sturgeon

  • Before being stripped of reusable components all units are weighed. Ricoh currently reclaims 85 per cent of the weight of a unit to be reused or recycled - which is 10 per cent higher than EU guidelines.

    Photo: Will Sturgeon

  • As well as components such as circuit boards and drums, toner cartridges are also salvaged. Toner, although now far from hazardous, is a perennial headache for companies looking to be thorough in their approach to recycling.

    The cost of disposing of toner is £1,000 per tonne, according to Wagland. This compares with £45 per tonne for metal.

    Among the uses cited by Ricoh for the disposal of toner includes use in tarmac and also garden furniture.

    Toner bottles are also collected and recycled. The reuse of toner which is returned in part-filled bottles has reduced toner supply costs by £5,000 to £10,000 according to Wagland, which all goes toward the profit and loss of the Green Centre.

    Photo: Will Sturgeon

Topic: Tech Industry

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