This afternoon, five major printer companies – Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson and Lexmark; with support of National Library Board and National Environment Agency, jointly announced the launch of Project Homecoming, Singapore's first joint brand ink and toner cartridge recycling initiative.
Andrew Koh, senior director and general manager, consumer imaging and information products division, Canon Singapore, who is also the lead spokesperson for Project Homecoming, gave an insight on the background of the recycling initiative. Started in Japan in 2008, six printer brands (Epson, Canon, Brother, Dell, HP and Lexmark) came together, with cooperation from Japan Post Office, to provide convenient location for public to recycle their cartridges. The project was called "Ink Cartridge Satogaeri" (which directly translated to Homecoming). In Singapore, Project Homecoming is an expansion to this similar scheme and is first in the region to launch. Public simply needs to go to one of the 13 designated libraries – Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Geylang East, Jurong Regional, Jurong West, Marine Parade, National Library @ Victioria Street, Queenstown, Tampies Regional, Toa Payoh and Woodlands Regional – and dispose their ink cartridges or toners into the recycling box (picture below). Note that the recycling bin does not only accept ink or toners cartridges from the five companies, but also other brands too.
In case you are wondering why HP is absent from Project Homecoming, from the original recycling initiative, that is only because the company has delicned participation as they have their own Planet Partners program. HP has also introduced the industry’s first “closed loop” ink cartridge recycling process, combining plastic from post-consumer recycled original HP ink cartridges and other sources, such as recycled water and soda bottles, in the manufacturing of new original HP ink cartridges.
According to Elaine Ng, chief executive officer of National Library Board (NLB), at least one recycling bin can be found at 13 designated libraries. There are plans to introduce the recycling bin to the remaining 10 libraries in Singapore, though that would be the next phase of the project.