What should I do with my old fax machine?

My fax machine has served me well for nearly 10 years. However, it’s time to put “Old Bessie” to rest and invest in a more-modern machine, or perhaps transition to Internet-based faxing. But how can I responsibly dispose of my old machine?

Kudos to you for thinking of this. Electronic waste has a huge negative impact on landfills, both because it takes up space and because it can release heavy metals and other hazardous materials into the surrounding environment.

There are many resources in place to help you get rid of your unwanted machine in an eco-friendly manner. You might even be able to simply leave the machine by the curb on recycling day, if your municipality or trash service picks up recycling and permits such disposal. Also, many cities and counties in the United States offer special programs such as days when residents can drop off their computers, printers, fax machines and other e-waste at a designated location. Businesses may be able to safely dispose of their fax machines, or even cause them to be repaired or recycled, with the help of an outside asset management service.

Since fax machines don’t retain confidential information like computers do, there are fewer legal restrictions on getting rid of them. If yours is beyond repair, you could always first re-enact that scene from Office Space where the workers stomp and beat the heck out of a troublesome machine.

Keep in mind that upgrading to a newer, better-designed fax machine will likely save energy over your old machine due to improved efficiency. Today, many fax machines and printer/fax combos bear the Energy Star label, a joint program of the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in which qualified products are proven to consume energy at very low levels when plugged in but not in operating mode. (According to the EPA, fax machines are one of the biggest energy hogs in office equipment, because they’re on all the time.)

You might decide to go with an Internet-based fax service (see www.savetz.com/fax/ for more info), which can be a real paper- and energy-saver.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.

One Response to “What should I do with my old fax machine?”

  1. Is repairing a fax machine worth it? Says:

    […] you do end up getting rid of your machine, please dispose of your fax machine […]