Submitted photo

An “Inksnork” outside the Fayette County Courthouse collects used printer ink cartridges.

Fayette County residents might make some new friends while dropping off their recycling.

Recently, a group of “Inksnorks” traveled all the way from Morgantown, West Virginia, to join the county’s recycling program. Known as “Snorks,” the colorful creatures are actually inkjet cartridge recycling stations.

Created by Michael and Joanna Fraley, founders of Fraley Publishing Co., Inc.; the Snorks serve as mascots for the reuse and recycle program, and citizens are encouraged to “feed” them ink cartridges when dropping off other recyclables at one of the county’s new haul-all bins.

While some cartridges are able to be refilled and reused, others are sent back to their original manufacturers for recycling, effectively keeping all inkjet cartridges out of area landfills.

“Inkjet cartridges represent a true environmental challenge, as they contain not just plastics and heavy metals in the electronics, but additionally, the residual ink within the cartridge contains a host of various chemicals,” Michael Fraley said. “It’s estimated 1 million cartridges per day are thrown away, making their way, inevitably, to the landfill. By moving reusable cartridges to companies that specialize in refilling them, we gain multiple uses from what was originally a single-use product.”

He said his Snorks are “valuable team members” that collect inkjet cartridges of all types, including those which can only be recycled. By placing them alongside traditional recycling bins and in other public spaces, they serve as a way for the public to help protect the environment, he added.

Inksnorks are currently placed alongside recycling bins at Uniontown Area High School, Menallen Elementary School and Penn State Fayette: The Eberly Campus; and in front of the Fayette County Courthouse in Uniontown.

Fayette County Recycling Coordinator and Stormwater Manager Sheila Shea said the program, which is free to the county, is the perfect addition to our completely revamped recycling program.

“It’s yet another exciting new avenue we can offer our citizens for recycling,” Shea said. “It’s a fun, outside-the-box concept, and I was thrilled when Mike reached out to partner with us.”

Shea said that, while laser-jet printer supplies are typically recycled regularly due to their popular commercial use, inkjet cartridges are “unusual” for most recycling programs.

“Almost all home printers use inkjet cartridges, so we thought this would be very convenient for our residents,” Shea said. “With more people working from home now than ever, there’s undoubtedly a fair amount of these cartridges lying around, so it’s the perfect time to introduce the Snorks to our program.”

For more information on the new Fayette County Recycling Program, call the Recycling Hotline at 724-430-4884 or visit

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