On paper, the recycling program was touted as a bold step toward California's climate-friendly future.
A mountain of plastic and metal would be diverted from landfills. Greenhouse gas emissions would tumble. And one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's climate change goals &mash; trimming power use in state buildings by 20 percent — would nudge closer to reality as agencies snapped up new, more efficient office printers.
That is what state and Hewlett-Packard officials said last year when they joined forces to ship used HP printer ink cartridges from state offices to Virginia to be ground up and recycled into auto parts, serving trays, clothes hangers and other products. But a Bee investigation, based on more than 100 pages of e-mails and other records, has found that 17 months after it was created, the program has delivered few if any of its promised climate benefits.
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