Today is the last elimination match in the Ring of Recycling. In one of the most exciting combinations in this challenge, Xerox, the document technology and services giant, takes on Sharp, the electronics manufacturer that makes everything from television to solar panels to, of course, laser printer toner cartridges!
Sharp comes out with a strong public relations move: a graph that shows how much more it recycles than is legally mandated. You can check out an action shot here: http://www.sharpusa.com/AboutSharp/SharpAndTheEnvironment/Recycling.aspx Sharp must be burning up some environmental records there because the next thing it tells its customers is to Stop, Drop, and Recycle!
Whew, I’m excited. Blow us away, Sharp. “All consumables are 100% recycled with ZERO waste to a landfill.” This has got to be a Ring of Recycling FIRST! A company that creates zero waste from its consumables. It’s Xerox’s turn to show us its stuff now. Xerox is out to create a Green World Alliance. What are the terms?
Oh, no. Xerox has a “take-back list”; it will only take back certain imaging products. It looks like Sharp is creating a greener world than Xerox. Maybe there is a catch. Maybe Sharp charges its customers an arm and a leg to maintain its recycling policies. – But no. Fill out the usual name-address-telephone number-and-email form, and Sharp will send you bulk eco-boxes which you can fill with its products and ship back for free. This isn’t the best customer service we’ve seen; there’s no instant gratification.
Can Xerox do better? Yes, yes it can. After you name your toner cartridge (if it’s on the take back list), you can print out a label, slap it on a box, and send your toner to be recycled that very day. Convenient, easy, and free.
Neither Sharp nor Xerox has much to be ashamed of in today’s match. It’s been a close fight with good customer service and free recycling all around. Xerox has the edge in speed, while Sharp has the edge in conscientiousness, and because of that, it wins by a margin. The victory goes to Sharp! Next week, we’ll take a look at the winners and perhaps see which one will ultimately triumph in the Ring of Recycling.