Lexmark International, an annual Habitat for Humanity sponsor in Lexington, plans to use recycled ink cartridges for landscaping. The recycled material forms a plastic wood substitute, known as eLumber.
The eLumber is environmentally-friendly, while also being extremely durable. It is water-resistant and insect-resistant. In its natural form, eLumber is black. However, it can be painted.
Tom Little from Lexmark, says, "This year we're doing something that's never been done before. It takes completely recycled cartridges and turns it into eLumber. There's no waste, so it's about as green as you can get."
The wood substitute has not been approved for structural purposes at this time. It will be used as a retaining wall at the new building site.
It's estimated that eLumber products will cost 20% more than other pre-treated wood, but should save money in the long rum. It should be commercially available to the public by the end of 2008.