How To Recycle Laser Toners & Ink Cartridges
There are several ways that you can recycle laser toners or inkjet cartridges, however some recycling companies will only allow you to send empty printer cartridges from a pre-approved list that dont include some of older original cartridges or any empty compatible / remanufactured cartridges.
Whilst this prevents you from doing your part as a socially responsible person or organisation, its generally down to the cost / legal implications, and the process required to dispose of cartridges that cant be reused or recycled.
The best 3 methods that weve found to recycle your empty cartridges are:
Easy Ways To Recycle Your Used Ink Cartridges
- Bring them to a local big box retailer like Best Buy, Costco, or Target.
- Drop them off locally at an office supply store like Staples.
- Check online for a recycling program that accepts them like Toner Buyer or e Cycle Group.
- Bring them to your local recycling facility.
- Consider refilling them ink refill kits are available at most office supply stores
Ink cartridge recycling is now available as part of regular recycling in most municipalities. Find more info here: Recycle ink cartridges near me. If it’s not available in your area, consider using eCycle Group, a recycling program for empty ink cartridges and laser toner. If you have empty cartridges, you can send them to eCycle in exchange for cash, or a donation to the charity of your choice.
eCycle Group manages all aspects of the collection and payment process, so please reach out to them directly with any questions. The process is simple: once you have located your printer cartridges on their list, fill in the number of cartridges you are returning and calculate the amount due. Be sure to fill in your contact information and preferred method of payment.
Recycling your printer ink cartridges makes sense – it’s good for the environment because it reduces the amount of plastic put into landfills. And it’s good for your wallet by giving you cash back for your empty cartridges. Read the below to learn more about recycling inkjet cartridges.
California Electronic Waste Recycling Act
In 2004 the state of California passed a law which requires retailers to collect an advanced recovery fee when a consumer purchases a new televisions or monitors. The fee is deposited in a fund managed by the state of California, which was created to finance recycling of unwanted electronics.
- Calrecycle’s Electronic Recycling Locator – Drop-off locations for computers, laptops and other electronics.
- Best Buy – Stores will accepts most cell phones, electronics, computers, televisions and ink cartridges and will take them at no charge.
- – Recycle drop off locations for rechargeable batteries, single use batteries, and cell phones.
Computers and Laptops:
Most manufacturers will take back their products for free at the end-of-life.
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How To Recycle Ricoh Toner Cartridges
The company has a comprehensive toner cartridge recycling program that allows customers to return empties free of charge.
Some of Ricohs cartridges can be recycled locally using your municipalitys recycling services. If this isnt the case, you can use a pre-paid label to return them to Ricoh. If you use a higher than average quantity of Ricoh cartridges, the company provides free boxes, collections or pallet pickups.
Printer Recycling For Us Citizens Living In Other Parts Of The Us
Even if you dont live in the San Francisco bay area, GreenCitizen also has you covered.
You can choose the mail-in electronics option and mail your old or broken printers.
Heres how it works:
- Contact GreenCitizen and let us know your recycling needs
- GreenCitizen will send the packaging list and information. You can ship with your preferred service
- Once GreenCitizen receives the items, well send a confirmation email
- If youve chosen a data destruction service, youll get a Certificate of Destruction once its been completed
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Give Them Back To The Manufacturer
Many major brands have their own toner recycling programs, which include taking back used toner cartridges and reusing them or recycling them into other products. You can contact the toner cartridge manufacturer directly and inquire about their specific return policy.
At Office Interiors, Ricoh and Kyocera are two of our primary office technology partners, both of which provide free recycling programs for their used toner cartridges. Lets take a closer look at what they offer.
Can You Sell Empty Printer Cartridges
Our website has a list of printer cartridges that we accept. Be sure to check the list before sending in your empty cartridges, InkRecycling will only pay for those they can use – some even earn you more!We’re always happy to help our customers, but make sure you check the list of acceptable printer cartridges before sending in an empty cartridge. If we don’t accept your specific type or brand then please use our Live Chat to ask if we will be accepting it in the future. It never hurts to ask!
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How To Recycle Used Toner Cartridges
Do you have a collection of used toner cartridges that you are not sure quite what to do with? Are they still usable or recyclable? And how do I find out where to recycle them? These are all questions we receive pretty often at Office Interiors and the good news is that theyre fully recyclable, and toner cartridge recycling is now easier than ever.
Toner cartridges are full of chemicals that take a long time to break down, which is why you dont want them to end up in a landfill. Recycling your used toner cartridges is not only good for the environment, but its also an excellent way for your company to be more sustainable. So, keep reading to get the scoop on how to recycle used toner cartridges and why its important to do so.
Donate And Help Others
We all know the saying one man’s trash is another mans treasure. This goes for printers too.
If your old printer is still working, you can donate it to a local community center, school, recreation center, senior center, charity, or a nonprofit.
You can also donate your old printer to organizations that help those in need.
Here’s the details,
- Goodwill Goodwill partners with Dell to recycle electronic wares. Just bring your old printer to any Goodwill collection location, and youll get a receipt, so you can deduct this from your taxes.
- National Cristina Foundation Cristina will connect you with a pre-screened recipient in need. In this way, you can help someone with their education or start a business.
- PickupPlease Pickupplease is an organization that helps veterans. Its easy to donate to them. Simply call them and schedule a pick-up.
- Freecycle Freecycle aims to create a worldwide sharing movement to keep the electronics away from landfills. You can register for free and give your printer to someone who needs it.
Even if your printer doesnt work anymore, it doesnt mean you cant donate it. There are many charities and nonprofits out there that sell non-working electronics.
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Ink Cartridges And Toner Recycling: It Is Essential Too
Ive talked about how to recycle a printer. But, you should also recycle toner and recycle ink cartridges.
Its estimated that more than 500 million cartridges are sold yearly in the US. About 350 million are sent to landfills, which is more than half.
Printer ink cartridges have toxic substances and are made of a combination of plastic, foam, metal, ink, and toner. This means it cant easily be separated.
Because they contain toxic chemicals, they can contaminate groundwater and soil if thrown in a landfill. Ink cartridges also cant be burned because theyll release harmful chemicals that can pollute the atmosphere.
Many states have laws against their disposal. In fact, you could be fined for throwing out ink cartridges.
Luckily, ink cartridges can be recycled.
You can take help from GreenCitizen for toner and ink cartridge recycling too.
Otherwise, you can choose any of the following ways to do printer cartridge recycling.
Manufacturer Lead Programs
You can recycle directly with the printer and cartridge manufacturers, as many of them have free take-back programs.
Some manufacturers even offer to cover the postage expenses.
Other Toner and Ink Recycling Options
Apart from manufacturer lead programs, you can recycle ink and toner in different ways:
- Refill the original ink cartridge.
- Drop-off the cartridge at the local office supply store.
- Find a local recycling facility.
What Happens To Empty Printer Cartridges When They Are Recycled
Did you know that over 45 million empty cartridges go into UK landfill sites each year, yet its estimated that only 15% of those are recycled or reused? Of those cartridges that go into landfill, it can take up to 1000 years for it to decompose. These are scary statistics, and thats why its important for us to act now and work together to do our part for the environment.
None of the empty cartridges that you return will go to waste which reduces the impact on the environment. Heres what happens to your empty cartridges:
Empty cartridges are collected, then inspected and sorted to determine whether they are suitable to be remanufactured or recycled. Only the best quality empties are reused as remanufactured cartridges.
The empty cartridges are vacuumed and cleaned, making sure no residual ink or powder is left, then critical components are replaced. Cartridges are then refilled and fully print tested before being packed in antistatic bags and protective air bags. All remanufactured cartridges adhere to ISO standards so you can feel confident this has been done in a completely ethical way.
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How To Recycle Printer Ink Cartridges
Roughly 500 million ink cartridges are sold each and every year, sadly over half of them end up in landfills even though they are both refillable and recyclable. That means nearly 350 million ink cartridges are needlessly tossed and end up in our landfills. To do your part refill or recycle your ink cartridges from your home printers as well as your workplace. Normally it is always better to reuse an item instead of recycling, if there is a choice. Reusing an item, like refillable ink cartridges, eliminates manufacturing effects on the environment from the recycling process. However, recycling is still much better than tossing them in the garbage and letting them end up in a landfill.
Canon Printer Cartridge Recycling
Accepts: Ink cartridges, toner cartridges
Canon’s cartridge recycling scheme has been around since 1990 and accepts a limited selection of Toners and Inks. Visit the link below, select your type of cartridge and check the cartridges you want to use are accepted in the scheme. You’ll need at least 5 cartridges to use the scheme, otherwise it’s easy peasy.
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Hp Printer Cartridge Recycling
HP claims more than 4.7 billion plastic bottles and 114 million plastic hangers have been recycled into new HP ink and toner cartridges.
The HP recycling program has collected more than 875 million ink and toner cartridges through its HP Planet Partners program.
Here is a great video from HP about their Closed Loop recycling and the life of an HP print cartridge:
The Hewlett Packard recycling program is dedicated to keeping ink and toner cartridges out of oceans and landfills. The HP Recycling Program allows customers to drop empty cartridges off at any Walmart, Staples, or Office Depot.
You can also mail cartridges back with free HP shipping labels or request a pickup if you have more than 76 toner cartridges or more than 1,000 ink cartridges.
Use Local Electronics And Office Supply Stores Recycling Programs
Another option you have is to use big-box store recycling programs.
These could be a good option if your printer is too big and heavy for you to load it and transport it to a recycling center.
Two of the most popular big-box stores are Staples and Best Buy. Heres how to recycle at both of these.
Recycling at Staples
Staples recycles computers, printers, inks, and toners for free. Check out their website for a complete list of electronics they recycle.
Staples is an e-Stewards Enterprise, which means they use the highest standards for electronics disposition, and the electronics will be recycled responsibly.
You can either take the printer to your local Staples store or arrange a pick-up.
You can also call them and ask for a box and other packaging materials if you need them.
Recycling at Best Buy
You can also use the Best Buy recycling program. This ones a little different than Staples.
They allow you to recycle up to three household items per day free of charge.
For a complete list of items they recycle, check here.
If you decide to recycle a printer with Best Buy, youll get 15% off select HP printers.
This is a good deal however, it only applies to select printers. In case these select printers dont work for you, you wont be able to use the discount.
Best Buy’s drawback is that they charge a fee to pick- up and haul your printer.
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Can I Get Money For Empty Ink Cartridges
If you are wondering why it seems more profitable to recycle ink cartridges than say your aluminum cans, its because accepting your used cartridges ensures you will need to buy more. These companies will pay to buy back your used cartridges ensuring you will be purchasing new ones, at a much higher price. This is referred to as Manufacturing led recycling. Companies like HP have large programs for re-manufactured ink cartridges, up to 75% closed loop recycling is used, they even use recycled plastic hangers which are notoriously difficult to recycle. Keep this in mind when debating whether to purchase a re-manufactured ink cartridge. It is always a good idea to recycle or reuse whenever possible, as well as purchase items manufactured using previously recycled items, ensuring these programs remain profitable and hopefully leading more companies into eco-friendly production processes.
Its Illegal To Throw Away Printers In Some States
Because e-waste takes up so much space in the landfill and has an extremely slow decomposition, states and municipalities across the US are implementing laws about how to get rid of e-waste.
More and more states nowadays are making it illegal to throw away electronics in the trash.
The goal is to get residents and businesses to recycle or refurbish old electronics instead of throwing them out. These devices can get fixed and given to new owners, or their parts can be salvaged for another use.
Also, printer ink cartridges have toxic substances, and states want to make sure these are taken care of in a way thats not harming the environment nor the residents.
This doesnt apply only to big companies, but to regular citizens as well. If your state has a law in place for recycling printers, you could get fined if you do otherwise.
California has strictly banned dumping all kinds of electronics in the trash since 2006, including printers. New York has a $100-$300 fine for anyone caught throwing out electronics at the curb. Illinois has a first-time fine of $25.
Other states with printer policies in place include Minnesota, Indiana, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Indiana. If your state isnt on the list, dont expect it to last. Instead, learn how to responsibly get rid of your printer ahead of time.
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Turn In Empty Cartridges To Supply Stores
If youd rather make money in person instead of online, big office supply stores like Staples and OfficeMax often recycle empty ink cartridges and even go as far as offering a rewards program. You can get a $2 store credit for each cartridge given. You can turn in up to 10 cartridges each month, which comes to $20 per month. Not bad, huh?
Since this is a store rewards program, you must first be a member or have an account with that specific store. Once the cartridges are turned in, you get money credited to your account that can be used toward your next purchase. Imagine making money while saving the planet at the same time.
The Importance Of Recycling Your Printer Cartridges
Every year millions of ink and toner cartridges are thrown away, rather than recycled. All of these discarded cartridges contribute to filling landfills, adding pollutants and toxins to the environment. In the UK alone, an estimated 45 million ink and toner cartridges end up in landfill naturally this number increases enormously when looking at the wider world. With each ink and toner cartridge taking approximately 1000 years to fully decompose, that huge number isnt going anywhere anytime soon. With the size and number of landfills increasing at an ever-alarming rate, with more and more pollutants building up in the environment, its important to limit our printing waste and recycle where possible. Fortunately, when it comes to ink and toner cartridges, you have options to recycle.
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