The Importance Of Recycling Ink And Toner Cartridges

Updated: 2021-06-18

Have you been sending your ink or toner cartridges straight to the garbage bin after use? Well, a lot of people do that. In the United States, more than seven hundred cartridges are being thrown every minute. However, you should know that ink and toner cartridges can be recycled. Sustainable development is the goal of many green advocates and recycling cartridges can help them in achieving that.

What are the reasons for recycling cartridges?

One might wonder why cartridges should be recycled. Why not just throw them away and forget about them?

Cartridge recycling reduces water pollution

Millions of cartridges end up in landfills every year. And since it takes more than a thousand years for plastic to decompose, this is bad news for Mother Earth.

There have also been so many accounts of water pollution associated with land filling. Thus, if there would be less cartridges thrown in sites, water can be kept clean for the generations to come. 

Cartridge recycling reduces air pollution

Recycling plastic cartridges can also, in part, reduce air pollution. Manufacturers would not have to manufacture more cartridges as the ones that they have made in the past can be remanufactured.

Thus, there would be less air pollution caused by the manufacturers.

Cartridge recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions

Another good reason to recycle cartridges is that doing so can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If a lot of people would be willing to reuse their cartridges instead of throwing them away, the rapid global climate change can be slowed down.

How can the cartridges be recycled?

There are a number of ways on how the cartridges can be recycled. Here are some examples:

They come with refill kits

Most cartridges these days are refillable or can be purchased with refill kits. Refilling your cartridges would not only help you save the environment. It can also help you reduce your printing costs. Because of that, it is a standard operating procedure for so many companies these days to have cartridges refilled.

Drop them in recycling centers

Now, there are a lot of people who think that cartridge refilling is a little bit messy for them. If you think of the same thing as well, you can still recycle your cartridges by collecting them and then dropping them off in recycling centers. It is in these recycling centers where the cartridges are put to use through various ways. Usually, they are refilled. 

Send them back to the manufacturer

There are also a lot of manufacturing companies which take the cartridges back once they are empty. The good news is that most of these companies get their cartridges back for free. You would not have to spend a single cent.

One of the reasons why companies do this is that remanufacturing plastic helps them spend less on energy. 

Quick FAQs

What Are The Benefits Of Toner Cartridges Recycling?

Toner cartridge recycling is a more responsible, sustainable way to deal with your empties.

How do I recycle ink or toner cartridges?

There are many ways to go about doing this, depending on the cartridge manufacturer and the office stores in your area.

You can drop them off at a retailer.  You can send them through the mail to OEM (original manufacturer).  You can work with a nonprofit that recycles for you .

Manufacturer recycling programs are free, efficient, and good for the planet. E.g., HP has a cartridge recycling program where you can bring printer cartridges to participating office supply stores or ship them free of charge. 

What are the environmental implications of not recycling the cartridges?

Throwing empty toner or ink cartridges into the trash means they go into the landfill, a practice that’s becoming a problem for our planet According to National Geographic, only 9% of plastics are actually being recycled.

Even better than recycling is simple refilling 🙂

How Often Should I Refill My Cartridges? Can I use a Toner cartridge indefinitely?

Reusing ink cartridges creates less waste, but they can only be refilled two or three times.

Toner cartridges can’t be reused indefinitely and are usually good for a few uses.

Cartridges for charity? What is Cartridges for Kids?

Cartridges for Kids is a program that allows a charity or school to collect cartridges and receive money in return.

How do I know if my printer cartridge is refillable?

Remove the printer cartridge and locate the two refill holes or toner refill port, which might be under the label.

What Are the Best Disposal Options for Toner Cartridges?

Toner cartridges are both recyclable and reusable, so more eco-friendly options for disposal exist.