All e-waste, including old ink and toner cartridges, should be recycled so that they can be turned into more valuable products such as new cartridges, computers, cell phones, and more.
There are several different ways to dispose of empty ink properly and toner cartridges. But an easier way to truly dispose of your empty cartridges is to use Microsoft’s recommended recycling partner, TerraCycle.
TerraCycle has drop-off locations in retail stores nationally for e-waste of all kinds, including inkjet and laser printer cartridges.
Give It to A Retailer
The simplest way to dispose of your empty inkjet cartridges is to take them to a store. Numerous ink manufacturers offer cash-back incentives when you recycle cartridges at the point of sale.
Since stores are in almost every neighborhood, you don’t need to make a special trip when you run out of ink – just stop by the local shop. You can also save money by recycling your empty inkjet cartridges in this manner.
With rewards programs, you can save money while trying to be environmentally conscious. Many office supply stores participate in rewards programs, so finding an office supply store relatively close to home may be convenient.
Return It to Manufacturer
Check with your manufacturer for empty cartridge recycling. If there is no program, check the manufacturer’s website or call to see if they support a recycling program. If not, you will have to take it to an e-waste center in your area.
But if your printer manufacturer does have a recycling program, follow the packaging instructions they provide or go to myink.com for a list of manufacturers and details about their cartridge recycling programs.
Used ink cartridges can be transported in a box padded with bubble wrap or newspaper. Follow any instructions from the manufacturer on how to pack them because each brand or model may have a specific way to pack and ship them.
Once you’ve packed the cartridges, make a label for your box saying you are shipping used ink cartridges with USPS or UPS using ground shipping.
Refill Ink Cartridges
Ink cartridges can be reused, saving you money and sparing the landfill. The number of times an ink cartridge can be reused depends on how completely it was emptied before disposal.
You should never pour ink down the drain; it’s difficult to tell whether the ink will clog your pipes until it’s too late. The first step is to make sure your cartridges are safely emptied.
But there are a few things you need to consider before deciding to reuse your old ink cartridges. Factors such as your environmental preference, time constraints, and budget should all be considered before you find the best option for you.
After you have finally decided to refill the cartridge, you must ensure that the cartridge is supported for a refill. This is because some cheap cartridges may not support refills. Moreover, some retailers do not accept cheap cartridges for various reasons.
Next, take the cartridge to a retailer like Costco, CVS, or even Walgreens. The recycling centers will often accept old items for free as well as collect the ink from the cartridges for recycling.
Go Under Recycling Program
Finding the right program is the first step in perfecting the disposal of your old ink cartridge. Just because you have an old printer does not mean that it has to be junked. Several organizations offer recycling programs just for printers and their old cartridges.
You will have to enroll in such programs. Simply fill out the form and register in the program. After you have successfully signed up with the organization, they will send you the details and instructions on getting your cartridges recycled.
- Get a Ziploc bag and store your ink cartridges in it. Make sure the bag is airtight. Further, some recycling stores and organizations will provide you with a specific Ziploc bag for storing cartridges.
- To conserve the ink, make sure you do not overprint. Only use it when you need it.
- Try to get a black and white printer instead of color prints to save ink.
- If you have a thick sheet, you can also use both sides to print.
Why Disposing of Empty Ink Cartridges Are Important?
Disposing of your ink cartridge is important because it conserves energy, reduces waste, and prevents air and water pollution associated with landfills.
Your empty ink and toner cartridges might seem like trash, but they can be put to good use. Recycling empty ink and toner cartridges reduce air and water pollution associated with landfilling, helps save energy, and conserves natural resources.
Terrible Facts About Printer Cartridges
- Every year, more than 400 million printer cartridges are tossed in the trash.
- This adds up to more than 440,000 tons of waste per year.
- Plastic printer cartridges can take up to a thousand years to decompose.
- Laser printer cartridges usually last 450 years to dispose of or decompose.
- Toner cartridges are one of the most common forms of e-waste.
- Every toner cartridge that is properly recycled saves the energy equivalent of over 1 gallon of oil.
Can You Put Ink Cartridges In The Recycle Bin?
No, ideally, you should not just throw off the cartridge into a bin. Ink cartridges can be easily recycled as there are programs at home and at work that will take them off your hands and recycle the cartridge for dirt cheap prices.
Can You Just Throw the Ink Cartridges Away?
When your printer ink cartridges run out, many people just throw them away because they don’t know that the empty cartridges can be refilled or reused.
If you don’t want to recycle or fix your own ink, you can take the empty cartridges to a store that fills them with ink or buy a refill kit and do it yourself.
Tanmoy Misra found his love for tech early in life when he got his first Nintendo (NES) console. He spent many hours blowing into cartridges to no avail until inspiration struck and he started taking apart and rebuilding anything that didn’t work. After dropping console gaming at the end of high school, Tanmoy entered the world of PC online gaming. His love of gaming and problem-solving soon led him to build his computers. As per expertise, he is an ISF-certified video calibrator and covering AV for a number of publications since 2018.