Lexmark is committed to disposing of waste generated by our facilities in a responsible manner. The Company’s waste generation and disposal figures over the past several years are indicative of the level of progress we have made toward our waste reduction goals.
Lexmark established three long-term, waste-management goals for the corporation.
While there is still much work to do, Lexmark has made significant progress toward achievement of these goals.
Lexmark has established business waste-management and recycling programs at its facilities worldwide. For example, Lexmark headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, has established programs to collect and recycle a variety of materials including construction waste, cafeteria waste, electronic waste (such as end-of-life computers and telephones), aluminum cans, batteries, cardboard, office paper, glass bottles, metal scraps from our tool rooms, plastic bottles, florescent light bulbs and cell phones. Several of these waste streams are recycled in unique ways. Carpet recovered during remodeling efforts and scraps from new construction projects are recycled in a closed loop process. The carpeting and backing are separated, processed and then made into new carpeting. Cafeteria waste from the food preparation process is composted, and eventually fertilizes gardens throughout the city of Lexington, Kentucky. Office papers from Lexmark offices are recycled into bathroom tissue and paper towels.
The table/graph below shows the progress Lexmark has made over the past five years in the collection and recycling of business waste. All figures shown are in pounds.
The Laser Cartridge Collection Program (LCCP) in Juárez Mexico is housed in a Gold LEED certified building. The program is designed to insure that a large percentage of laser cartridges are returned to Lexmark for reuse and recycling. The program generates:
LCCP LEED Certified Building
Lexmark has additional programs in place to recycle packaging. For example, Lexmark has established a Gaylord reuse program with its primary electronic waste recycling partner. Additionally, wooden pallets are sent for reuse and recycling (damaged pallets are chipped and used as mulch) and certain types of Styrofoam are sent to an extruder for reuse.
In Lexington, many of the surrounding counties that employees live in do not provide curb side recycling services for recyclables out of the home. Therefore, Lexmark has partnered with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government to collect those recyclables on site. A large recyclable bin is available for employees to drop off items such as newspapers, plastics, glass bottles, cardboard, and aluminum cans. An estimated 225 tons of recyclables has been processed through this program since inception in 2007.
The development, quality testing and manufacturing of Lexmark’s imaging devices can result in the generation of unique waste streams including chemical waste (from ink, toner and component development and manufacture), paper waste (from print testing) and printers and other electronic components (from performance and quality testing).
Chemical waste is primarily processed in an energy recovery facility which generates electricity while processing the chemical waste. A portion of the toner chemical waste is processed by a company that uses the toner as a colorant in plastics. Toner waste is also used as an additive to concrete. Paper from print testing is recycled into bathroom tissue and paper towels.
Lexmark generated a total of 18,316 metric tons of waste in 2011. Waste generation in 2011 was higher than 2010 as a result of increased production volumes of printer supplies.
At our Lexington site, ongoing consolidation of our facilities generated additional waste in the form of recycled construction debris. This short term waste impact will provide long term benefits from reduced CO2. Lexmark expects this short term increase in waste to yield long term environmental benefits from ongoing projects to reduce waste and optimize process and facility operational efficiency.
Hazardous waste accounts for approximately 10 percent of Lexmark’s total waste. The primary hazardous waste materials generated are residues from manufacturing and development processes. Hazardous waste that is generated in Lexmark’s research and development and manufacturing facilities is managed by external companies that specialize in the management of hazardous waste.
Disposal methods for waste are determined through the collaborative efforts of Lexmark and its waste-management partners. Working together, we have identified new opportunities for recycling waste, reducing our usage of incineration and landfill while increasing usage of waste-to-energy recovery where other recycling options are unavailable.
Since 2007, Lexmark has increased its waste recycling rate from 63 percent to 78 percent. Lexmark achieved a 24 percent improvement in the amount of waste that our plants currently recycle from 2007 to 2011, just shy of our 25 percent goal.
Lexmark offers its customers environmentally sound disposal choices for disposal of their end-of-life products. Electronic waste, including printers that have reached the end of their usable life, should be recycled by specialized firms whose processes ensure any data stored on those devices will not be compromised and that are committed to recycling those devices in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
Lexmark has partnered with recyclers that offer a broad range of services and processing capabilities, have a proven record of compliance with government mandated criteria for recycling facilities, are certified in the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard and are Certified by R2 or e-Stewards. Our recycling partners are audited regularly to ensure that they continue to maintain the high level of service and regulatory compliance that we expect of our recycling partners.
The R2 Standard is a comprehensive global standard for e-recyclers on the market and requires responsible management of used computers and other electronics. E-Stewards is a rigorous, internationally compliant certification program that assures full conformance to a comprehensive suite of e-recycling best practices. Both R2 and e-Stewards are working to ensure the electronics recycling industry is environmentally sustainable.
Sims Recycling Solutions
Global Environmental Services (GES)
Lexmark’s primary recycling partner, Sims Recycling Solutions, the world’s largest electronics recycler, is R2 certified. Sims Recycling processed more than 5,500 metric tons of electronic waste on behalf of Lexmark in the United States, Canada and Europe in 2011.
Lexmark also partners with GES, offering solutions for customers that prefer e-Stewards. Global Environmental Services, with facilities in Georgetown, KY and Austin, TX, is the seventh largest electronics recycler in North America. Lexmark’s service organization works with our recycling partners to reclaim parts that can be used to refurbish printers keeping them in service longer, reducing the need to recycle used hardware. Devices that are returned to Lexmark go through a process that assesses if they can be refurbished for reuse and if not are harvested for parts that can be used in refurbishment.
Lexmark has set a goal to achieve a 30 percent increase in hardware collection and recycling by 2014 as compared to baseline year 2007. From 2010 to 2011 Lexmark increased its hardware collection rate by 48 percent putting Lexmark back on track to achieve its goal by 2014.
Lexmark currently offers standardized recycling programs in many countries and variable programs in other countries. We expanded the Lexmark Equipment Collection Program in 2011 and plan to further expand it in 2012.
In the United States, we offer the Lexmark Equipment Collection Program. Customers can return their Lexmark-branded hardware products to Lexmark by whatever shipping method is most convenient for them and we will recycle the equipment for free. For business customers that are in the process of installing a large fleet of new Lexmark products, Lexmark develops customized collection strategies. We work in partnership with certified electronics disposal agencies to collect the customer’s used devices, mark them for recycling and arrange for them to be sent to the nearest recycling facility.
Over the past four years, electronic waste legislation of one form or another has been proposed in a majority of states in the U.S. By the end of 2010, 11 states–Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin–enacted extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation that includes printers. While the details of the legislation vary greatly from state to state, the basic premise is that the producers of electronic devices are required to collect and responsibly recycle covered electronic devices (CEDs) at the end of the devices’ usable lives.
Lexmark is a member of Electronic Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC), an organization dedicated to promoting and implementing sustainable solutions for end-of-life electronics. The Company participates in a number of government sponsored and industry supported recycling programs in Canada, that vary by province. Some provinces require electronic manufacturers to pay a fee that is used to recycle electronic equipment in those respective provinces.
Alberta: Lexmark participates in the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) program. This state run program has been in place since October 2004 and offers 260 collection sites for businesses and consumers.
Saskatchewan: Lexmark participates in the Saskatchewan Waste Electronic Equipment Program (SWEEP) that launched in February 2007. SWEEP is the first industry led stewardship program in Canada and it offers over 70 recycling depot locations.
British Columbia: Lexmark participates in the Electronic Stewardship Authority British Columbia (ESABC) recycling program, an industry led initiative begun in July 2010.
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island: Lexmark participates in the Atlantic Canada Electronic Stewardship (ACES) program. This program was begun in Nova Scotia in February 2008 and Prince Edward Island in July 2010.
Ontario: Lexmark participates in the Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) program which was started April 2010.
Manitoba: Lexmark participates in the Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) Manitoba which will begin collection in August 2012.
Recycling regulations are anticipated in Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Yukon in 2012-2013.
In many parts of Europe, our equipment take-back strategy is implemented through country-specific programs that are operated in accordance with the European Union Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive (2002/96/EC). Consumers in the European Union can take their equipment to locally authorized collection centers or, in some cases, to local retailers. For business customers in the European Union, Lexmark has established a fully compliant logistics system for transporting used products to the nearest storage and sorting facility, where the equipment is properly processed for recycling.
A primary focus for Asia Pacific environmental work in 2011 has been preparation for the Australian national end-of-life Information Technology (IT) equipment and recycling program. This was formally announced by the Australian Federal government in November 2009 and had been anticipated for some time.
Lexmark has been an active participant in this process for six years. The announcement indicated national legislation would come into place in 2010 and the scheme will formally commence in 2012. The scheme will be Australia-wide and underpinned by government regulation.
All IT manufacturers and importers will be responsible for their shares of actual waste collected. Customers will return their end-of-life IT equipment to designated collection points from which the waste will be taken to central consolidation and collection points for recycling by accredited recycling operators.
The pilot for this national plan has been the ‘Byteback’ program operated in the state of Victoria. Lexmark was a founding member of this operation which is a free (to the consumer) IT equipment take-back program. There are nine other founding IT industry members. Byteback has been in operation since 2007 and is collecting some 10,000 items per month. It has proven invaluable in collecting data on IT hardware recycling, understanding consumer behavior and has received very strong community support. Lexmark will continue its pioneering work in this area by actively contributing to the IT industry working groups now preparing for the forthcoming national legislation and the resulting commencement of the national take-back plan.
The regions of Central and South America present many logistical challenges for recycling. Several countries and local governments, including Columbia and the Brazilian state of São Paulo, have recently enacted forms of Extended Producer Responsibility legislation. Lexmark is working closely with our recycling partner, Sims Recycling Solutions, to set up regional recycling centers to meet these new requirements
Click here for more information on electronic waste recycling.