What is the best way to recycle ink cartridges?

What is the best way to recycle ink cartridges?


Waste is a huge problem for our planet. Landfill sites are highly toxic – harming both the local environment and our earth’s atmosphere. What’s more, when we buy new things instead of reusing or recycling old ones, it means we’re also stripping more resources from the earth and using lots of energy to turn them into consumable goods. This makes us ask What is the best way to recycle ink cartridges?

But the good news is, when it comes to toner and inkjet cartridges, it’s incredibly easy – and even profitable – to avoid throwing them into landfill. In fact, did you know that most modern cartridges can be reused up to six times?! After they’ve been refurbished and refilled, recycled cartridges produce the same quality and output as new cartridges. What’s more, because they’re cheaper to produce, recycled cartridges can be sold back to consumers more cheaply than new ones.

There are a few different ways you can recycle toner and inkjet cartridges – here’s Printerinks.com‘s quick guide.

Recycle them yourself

The best way to reduce the amount of cartridges you send to landfill is simply by using less ink. You can set your printer to eco-print, which means it will use less ink, and try to avoid printing unnecessary images or blocks of colour, which obviously use up lots of ink. And, when the time eventually comes for you to buy new ink cartridges for your printer, make sure to check for recycled options first. As long as you buy from a reputable and/or well-reviewed supplier, they’ll produce the same quality levels and will almost certainly be quite a bit cheaper.

When the time comes to actually get rid of an old, reused ink cartridge, your first port of call would naturally be your local recycling centre. While this is a valid option – and most recycling centres do provide inkjet cartridge recycling these days – we recommend you read the rest of this article for a few other ideas of what you can do with your old cartridges.

Recycling in store

You can often refill and reuse your old ink or toner cartridges by taking them into office supplies shops. Most of these stores will refill old cartridges for a small fee – which will still work out cheaper than buying new ones. They’ll also be able to check that the cartridge is in good enough condition to be reused.

If you can remember where you brought your ink cartridge originally, it’s definitely worth giving them a call or an email to find out their policy on returning empty cartridges. They might well offer a money back incentive and – at the very least – will be able to offer you advice on where else you can recycle ink cartridges locally.

Most major retailers now have decent incentive programs to encourage their customers to return empty cartridges – either in person if they have a shopfront, or by post if they only operate online. These returns programmes come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s worth shopping around to find the deal that best suits your needs. For example, while some will give you credit for future purchases, others may offer discounted prices on new cartridges. It’s definitely worth checking the details on this – some businesses can be quite picky about the brands of cartridges they accept, or the number that you can recycle within a given time frame.

Recycling online

There are many websites that offer cash for old cartridges. For example, sites like the E-Cycle group and Toner Buyer will pay anywhere from a few pennies to a few pounds for empty toners or ink cartridges – depending on their brand and condition. What a great way to do your bit for the environment while making a bit of extra money on the side! Because these sites are so keen for your cartridges, they typically make it very easy for you to figure out what you’ll earn from them, and will send you a pre-paid postage label so you can send them in for free.

You can also sell old cartridges on eBay, although obviously this requires a little extra work from you – listing the cartridges and then following up with postage etc. However, if you time it right, the chances of you making enough extra money to cover your extra time are pretty good. Obviously, pictures that prove your cartridges are in good condition will help increase the price.

Recycling for charity

Lastly, if you feel like going the extra mile and doubling down on your good deeds, why not donate your old cartridges to charity so that they can profit from the returns. The organisation Recycle4Charity (and many others like it) invites you to give them your old empty ink and toner cartridges for them to repurpose and sell. There’s also an option for you to receive a cut of the money they make from your donation, although you can also choose to give all the proceeds to the charities supported by the site.

At Printerinks.com

With a compatible ink cartridge from Printerinks, you’re doing your bit to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill. In fact you’re preventing around three pounds of plastic and metal going to waste each time you buy one. What’s more, every time you recycle an empty inkjet or toner cartridge with us, we’ll send it for remanufacturing. And if that’s not possible, we’ll find another eco-friendly solution.

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