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How to Recycle Toner Cartridges

So, you’ve successfully changed the toner cartridges in your printer – What’s next? It seems wasteful to throw them out. In fact, it can be dangerous to do so since any remaining ink is thought of as chemical waste that can contaminate soil and water. And, considering that these cartridges are thrown out at a rate of 500 per minute, they are consuming a lot of landfill space. But throwing old toner cartridges in the garbage is not the only option. This article will provide tips for anyone who wants to learn more about how to recycle toner cartridges.

Recycling with the Manufacturer
Most toner cartridge manufacturers will take back used products to ensure they are recycled properly. If you are using a business-grade printer with large toner cartridges, you’ll notice that the boxes typically contain a return address label and instructions on how to package used toner cartridges to mail them back. You can usually use the original box and, since the postage on the return label is commonly pre-paid, recycling your used toner cartridges with the manufacturer is free of charge and low-hassle.

If you are using a personal printer with smaller ink cartridges, you can visit the manufacturer’s website to learn more about how to work with them to recycle your used products. In most cases, you will find a link with instructions on how to package the toner cartridge and a mailing label you can print at home. After you send in the used cartridge, the manufacturer will oftentimes send you a coupon to put toward a new ink cartridge.

Make Money While Recycling
You can easily find a multitude of businesses that will buy your empty cartridges from you. These companies will usually re-fill the cartridges and sell them to others. Chain office stores also collect used toner cartridges. While you won’t earn cash by recycling with these companies, you will earn rewards points that you can use for discounts on other office supplies.

Recycle for Charity
Along the same lines, many charities collect empty toner cartridges and sell them to establishments like those mentioned above as a fundraiser. The upside for you is it removes some of the hassle of mailing the cartridges and you can feel good about supporting meaningful causes. Examples of organizations that collect empty toner cartridges are schools and animal rescues. Some chain pet stores even collect used toner cartridges on behalf of animal rescue organizations, which makes it easy for you to find a drop-off location.

Recycling with an E-waste Group
A quick online search can reveal a number of local e-waste disposers that will pick up your used toner cartridge or provide you with a drop-off spot to ensure proper recycling. You can also contact your city’s waste management department to learn more about e-waste drop-off locations and events.

Whatever you do, don’t throw used toner cartridges in the trash - there are so many easy options for recycling.