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Toner Cartridge Swap Shop™

Imaging Technologies Pty Ltd SwapShop™ is a vending machine for toner cartridges and other office consumables which can also operate in reverse - by taking used cartridges back for recycling. 

A Life Cycle Assessment on the existing product identified areas for improvement.

The areas identified were:

  • energy consumed in use by the computer, printer, VDU,
  • uninterruptible power supply and door latches (1,005 k Wh per year);
  • production of the steel used in construction (132 kg);
  • production of the copper used for wiring (10 kg);
  • disposal of the product at the end of its life (average life span 4-7 years);
  • restocking the machine (energy and air emissions)

    Environmental Improvements addressed through the design of the new Swap Shop™

    • energy reduction - energy consumption was reduced by around 80% by replacing the VDU with a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and by replacing the processor with a microprocessor. 
    • materials reduction - the amount of steel was reduced by about 50%, by reducing the steel used in the framing system and changes to storage bin construction in using lighter materials.
    • efficiency - the machine was made more efficient by increasing the capacity from 14 to 40 cartridges. In addition, the Swap Shop™ is linked by modem to a base control system that manages restocking and pick-ups, which eliminates unnecessary journeys for re-stocking. Unnecessary trips to refill the machine were reduced by maximising the space available for cartridges. 
    • designed for disassembly - the new machine was designed in modules to ensure flexibility. 
    • upgradability - it can be configured in various shapes and sizes, and can be upgraded as technology or styling changes. 


    For More Information

    For more detailed information on the thinking behind the SwapShop idea visit:

    *© RMIT