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Recycling Solution for Non-Reusable Printer Cartridges in Developing and Emerging Countries (ReSo-Cart-ED)

Funding body: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)
Program: “Export Initiative Environmental Technologies” (EXI)
Project sponsor: VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH
Project partner: Trägerverein Umwelttechnologie-Cluster Bayern e.V. (applicant)
Country: Ghana
Duration: May 2022 – February 2024

Initial situation

The rapidly increasing use of toner cartridges, the lack of disposal solutions and the resulting environmental pollution caused by improper handling are increasing challenges in emerging and developing countries. As a rule, there is a lack of economically viable solutions in these countries, which is why the problem is getting worse.

The number of toner cartridges used is also rising sharply in Ghana, with no plans for waste disposal or recycling. A toner cartridge is a resource that is already being used economically elsewhere. The proper disposal and recycling of recyclable materials contained in the cartridges would contribute to the implementation of Ghana’s Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) strategy from both an environmental and economic perspective.

The project therefore works together with the “Environmentally Sound Disposal and Recycling of Electronic Waste Program (E-Waste Program)” in Ghana, which is implemented by GIZ and financed by BMZ.

Foto Florian Werthmann


Possible business cases for re-use and end-of-life treatment of toner cartridges are identified and outlined.

The framework conditions under which these business models could work are clearly shown. This is accompanied by the identification of challenges and possible solutions.


The project works with local stakeholders to develop solutions on the basis of a market and feasibility study. The most important activities for this are

  • Determination of local market framework data and quantity structures,
  • Identification of local regulatory framework conditions,
  • Analysis of the local “current practice” infrastructure,
  • Presentation of the possible combination models of different system setups in comparison to local, alternative approaches,
  • Study on recycling routes and the evaluation of output materials and
  • Elaboration of an investment cost development and profitability calculation.


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