Wake up, people! Toner recycling can save our planet! Mother Earth needs us!

Recycling isn’t new. Truth be told, recycling has been around for centuries. One of the first examples of recycling dates back 100 years, prior to The Revolutionary War. Recycling efforts evolved over the years, and now our biggest hazard is electronic waste. 

Environmental Cost

We’re finally learning the true environmental cost of electronic waste. Ink and toner cartridges are made of a complex blend of plastics, metals, foam, ink, and toner. As a result, these components cannot easily be separated, and are not suited for general collection programs.

More than 375 million printer cartridges are thrown away each year. It’s tragic, considering a single cartridge takes a hundred years or more to fully break down. Keeping cartridges out of landfills is essential. Electronic waste is the fastest growing type of waste, and one of the most toxic.

Fortunately, nearly 100% of the materials in printer cartridges can be recycled. By doing so, airborne pollutants are greatly reduced. Furthermore, nearly one gallon of oil is used to make a new printer cartridge. Therefore, by recycling toner cartridges we are also saving millions of gallons of oil.

How To Recycle Your Printer Cartridges

There are different ways to recycle your used ink and toner cartridges.

  • Manufacturer Lead Recycle Programs
  • Mail-in Recycle Programs
  • Office Supply Stores Recycle Programs

Manufacturer Lead Programs

These programs are created by the printer and cartridge manufacturers themselves. Most major manufacturers offer free take-back programs and some even cover the cost of postage for you to mail them back. Click below to learn more about the printer cartridge recycling programs of specific printer manufacturers.

Mail-in Recycle Programs

There are also non-manufacturer mail-back programs. Some companies give you pre-paid mailing labels and even offer you cash back for your empty cartridges. It’s also easy to donate that money to a worthy cause. You can find out more at:

  • Clover Environmental provides innovative recycling programs that maximize profits while promoting environmental responsibility. 
  • Evolve Recycling pays organizations for their empty ink and toner cartridges, keeping toxic waste out of landfills. 
  • Terracycle offers free recycling programs for hard-to-recycle waste.
  • Cartridges for Kids uses cartridge recycling as a fundraising source for schools, churches, and other nonprofit organizations.
  • Earth911.com will help you find your local recycling center.
  • Cash 4 Toners will buy your surplus toner cartridges back from you!

Office Supplies Retailers

If neither of those options suits your fancy, you can always visit your nearest office supplies store to inquire about their own cartridge recycling program. Some major retailers, such as Walgreens, can refill your empty cartridges. You can also turn in your empty printer cartridges for recycling at almost any Staples, Office Depot, or other major office supply stores.

Making The Change To Toner Recycling

Recycling begins at home … and the office. Many companies have made big strides in recycling. This begins by promoting the benefits of recycling toner cartridges. It continues in our homes and workplaces, where we can all take steps to reduce electronic waste.