How to Properly Dispose of Ink and Toner

When your printer cartridges stop printing, what is the best way to dispose of them? Rather than tossing them into the garbage can, do something positive for the environment and recycle them. Printer cartridges are made from plastic and metal, both of which can be recycled. The ink itself contains toxic chemicals that pollute the environment. Therefore, recycling printer cartridges will not only make further use of non-renewable resources but also reduce harmful emissions.

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Why Recycling your Cartridges Matters

It’s hard to grasp that, in the U.S. alone, about 10 printer cartridges are improperly disposed of every second. This results in a tremendous amount of pollution that, with very little effort, could be avoided. If everyone recycled their printer cartridges, it would conserve natural resources, help the environment, and save tax dollars that go towards waste management.

It’s not sufficient, however, to recycle empty cartridges and then go to the store and buy replacements. Instead, continue the eco-friendly cycle and purchase remanufactured cartridges. Remanufactured cartridges have been recycled, cleaned, refurbished, and filled with new printer ink or toner. They last just as long as cartridges you buy from a store, but are better for the environment and cost 60 percent less.

Cartridge Recycling Tips

Recycling printer cartridges has never been easier. Here are a few tips on how to recycle ink or toner cartridges.

Return Them

If your used cartridges are originals that were purchased from an office supply store or legit online distributor, simply get in touch with the company and inquire about recycling your empty cartridges at a nearby location. Some companies will make it easy for you and provide a pre-paid box in which to return your empty cartridges. In 2008 alone, HP recycled more than 45 million pounds of printer cartridges.

Contact the Seller

Many retailers, including Staples, allow customers to return their old cartridges to be recycled. If you purchased your cartridges online, simply contact the online supplier to see if they have a recycling program.

Visit your Local Recycling Center

Now that cartridge recycling is becoming more and more common, many local recycling centers will accept used printer cartridges. If they don’t, they’ll probably recommend someplace that does.

Sell Your Empty Cartridges

If your empty cartridge is still in good shape, i.e. it is not scratch or dented, you can sell it to a remanufacturing company. Just make sure the agency interested in buying your used cartridges intends to recycle or repair them.

Give them to a Local Organization

Schools and various local institutions often host fundraisers to receive money for their cause. You can donate empty printer cartridges to them, which they can then sell or refill for their own use.

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