In a lot of offices these days, fax machines have gone the way of the dodo. That is to say, they are all but extinct. Email, SMS, online chat and applications like Dropbox have become the standard methods for transferring data from one location to another. But, even though sending a fax may no longer be necessary, finding a way to safely and responsibly recycle old fax machines certainly is. Fax machines and their cousins, copiers, break down into similar components that can be reused in a number of ways. copier recyclingFirst, let’s investigate all of the reusable hardware pieces in these machines. If you are upgrading to a newer copier, consider removing the print and fax boards from a previously used machine. These can be reinstalled in a new machine and will work just the same. Did you know that fax machines and copiers house hard drives, just like your laptop or PC? If you are looking to remove the hard drive and use it in another copy machine or in a computer, it will need to be formatted and loaded with the appropriate operating system upon installation. The same goes for RAM — copiers and fax machines use the same type of memory that personal computers do. You can save time and money by removing sticks of RAM from old copiers or faxes and installing them into your computer for a memory boost. Just be sure to check that your computer is compatible with the copier or fax’s RAM before proceeding. Don’t forget the toner and developer bottles. If you are planning on using the same brand of copy machine in the future, pop these out. The bottles will either gently slide out or can be unlocked from their securing tabs. Note that a copier’s drum can also be removed, but these are almost always exclusive to a make and model, meaning they are not interchangeable when upgrading to a newer machine.

Recycling a complete machine

If you are simply looking to properly get rid of an old fax or copier, check our recycling location finder for a drop-off location near you. Best Buy, Office Depot and Staples locations accept machines for recycling in their stores.