stratasys recycleStratasys is now offering North American customers a convenient recycling program dedicated to turning in their used FDM canisters and PolyJet cartridges – and it’s free of charge.

The program offers a number of benefits to Stratasys customers such as the elimination of waste disposal shipping costs, a reduction in logistical issues, the floor space saved by immediately sending back empty canisters and cartridges, and benefits in terms of regulatory compliance.

Customers can begin the process by packaging canisters and cartridges, and the company offers a website where they can print out UPS labels for free shipping.

The packages are picked up by UPS and shipped directly to Stratasys headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota for recycling. Stratasys offers what they call an on-campus recycling facility staffed by members from Lifeworks, an Image 76organization which places and mentors people with disabilities in jobs.

And it’s a detailed program which takes care of the small details like unwinding leftover FDM 3D printing material from used spools and chopping it for recycling.

Once the recycling is complete, new FDM canisters and PolyJet cartridges are manufactured and filled with 3D printing material before being shipped back to customers.

The website and the process make it pretty simple to take advantage of the program. Users simply fill out contact information on the form at the Stratasys website, select the quantity of each recyclable item being returned up to a maximum shipping weight of 70 lbs per box (the online system notifies users if they’ve exceeded the weight limit per box), box up the materials being returned, and print out a return label.

If users plan to return six or more units, they will have to provide their own box for shipping — or create separate bundles – and the boxes may not be larger than 30 x 24 x 24 inches.

Stratasys calls it a win-win.

“Watching the recycling process in action reminded us how everyone benefits,” they say. “Yes, it helps the environment. Yes, it’s better for our customers’ business. Yes, it helps them easily adhere to local regulations. Yes, it creates employment for disabled people in the local community. And yes, it’s great for 3D printing and additive manufacturing as a whole – helping it become a more convenient, easy-to-manage process for our North American customers, both big and small.”

Do you think other 3D printer manufacturers will follow suit and create programs like this recycling effort from Stratasys? Let us know in the Stratasys Offering Recycling Program forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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