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This is what happens when ink costs more than a printer

Thursday, April 25th 2019, 3:39 pm - Discarded printers can be a big problem.

Printers can be relatively cheap to buy -- but replacement ink cartridges are expensive.

In some cases, it's more economical to buy an entirely new printer every time it runs out of ink.

A man in Salem, New Hampshire apparently tried to cash in on this concept.

Now, he's been given 10 days to remove the thousands of printers and boxes that are littering his yard.

Salem health inspector Brian Lockhard told NECN Michael Bates was removing the printer's ink cartridges and selling them. The leftover devices were discarded on his property, creating a mountain of waste that was deemed to be a health hazard.

This week, a judge ordered Bates to remove and properly dispose of the more than 2,000 printers.

Bates will have to pay for the removal at an estimated cost of $18,000 USD.

Lockhard told NECN Bates is "apologetic".

RELATED:

PRINTERS A COMMON SOURCE OF E-WASTE

Printers are one of the most commonly-discarded electronic items in the world, according to a 2017 report.

Globally, between 20 and 50 million metric tons of e-waste -- that includes computers, cell phones, and household items as well -- are disposed of annually.

E-waste is a hazardous material and can't be thrown out in the trash. Electronics can leak toxic chemicals into the environment, creating environmental and health risks.

SAVE MONEY ON INK AND REDUCE E-WASTE

Consumer Reports says you can extend your ink cartridge by leaving your printer on to avoid prompting a maintenance cycle every time you use it and opt for a black and white printer, which tends to use less ink.

If your printer is compatible, you a may want to consider subscribing to an ink delivery service, which charges a monthly fee, based on how often you print and how much ink you use.

VIDEO: RESEARCHERS WARN ABOUT 'PLASTIC ISLANDS'

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