Recycling empty ink and toner cartridges is an excellent way of recouping the original cost of purchase. This article shows how to make money by recycling cartridges.
Not many people know that empty cartridges are a commodity. But in fact, brand manufacturers such as HP and Lexmark, as well as small independent firms, run programs encouraging people to return cartridges once they’re emptied. This is great for the environment, since it means that the plastics from which the cartridges are made are re-used. Refilling cartridges is also a less intensive practice in terms of the manufacturing costs than creating a cartridge from scratch. Moreover, it is also great for the consumer, because brands such as Lexmark offer substantial discounts on refilled toner purchases for those that recycle. Depending on the type of toner, up to £22 can be earned per recycled cartridge.
The first step is Googling a site to sell the empty cartridges. If the person’s feeling altruistic, they could donate the cartridges to charity. Here, profits accrued from the sale of the cartridges to the refillers aren’t divided between private companies. Instead, they go to the charities concerned. Moreover, the programs run by major brands often don’t recycle the empty cartridges at all. Instead, they scrap them. Donating cartridges to charity is therefore great for persons concerned with the environment – even if they don’t themselves make any money.
Alternately, consumers might sign up for a Return Program, run by a brand manufacturer. For example, Lexmark offers substantial discounts on its Cartridge Return Program, so long as consumers agree to return empty cartridges only to Lexmark. Hewlett Packard meanwhile, runs its recycling program in part through retailers like Staples. Though the brand doesn’t offer a fixed incentive, its Planet Partners scheme lets people earn ‘points’ for recycling, for use with PurchaseEdge.com. However, Staples pays £3 for empty cartridges returned while buying a new one – so it’s worthwhile using the retailer for returns to Hewlett Packard.
Consumers might also contact online businesses, which specialise in recycling cartridges as well as other plastics items, such as mobile phones. Online firms typically allow for people to have their empty cartridges collected, saving exertion. This is unlike major brands, which ask people to send their empty cartridges in a self-addressed envelope. To make the collection worthwhile, however, a minimum number of cartridges is required – this ranges from 5 to 30, depending on the firm. Moreover, while some firms offer a flat rate for empty cartridges, others vary the rate of compensation depending on the ink and toner concerned.
For people running an office, selling empty cartridges can create substantial revenue. CashForCartridges.co.uk notes that many schools save £2000 by recycling cartridges. However, even individuals running a home printer can make money by recycling toner – and over time, the total adds up to something really worthwhile.