June 19, 2009, 11:58 AM — Each year, millions of empty toner and inkjet cartridges are thrown into the trash, ending up in our planet's landfills or incinerators. Recycling these empty cartridges is easy, profitable and environmentally beneficial. It helps reduce solid waste, conserves raw materials and the energy needed to produce a new product. Most cartridges can be recycled up to six times - they are refurbished, refilled and then resold to consumers at a lower price than brand name cartridges. Recycled cartridges produce the same quality and output as new cartridges.
Ink cartridges are constructed out of plastic, petroleum-based products and take about 1,000 years to decompose. According to recent estimates, 20-40% of ink cartridges are recycled, meaning 60-80% end up in landfills. The recovery and reuse of empty printer cartridges diverts millions of cubic feet of material from waste disposal, saving us the millions of tax dollars needed to pay for additional landfill management.
How do I recycle my empty inkjet cartridges?
Look at the instructions in the box of your new laser or inkjet cartridge to find out how to recycle your old one. Many companies will provide instructions, packaging materials and free postage if you wish to recycle your old cartridge.
The easiest way to find a recycling location is to search the Internet for organizations that accept used cartridges in exchange for cash. All sites offer pre-paid free shipping or pickup of used cartridges, and some pay up to $4 per cartridge.
Recycling used cartridges also makes a great fundraiser for schools, church groups, charities, high school sports teams and other non-profit organizations. It can also be a significant cost savings for businesses.
Castle Ink, in conjunction with Capital Imaging, sponsors an ink cartridge recycling program that pays cash for certain used cartridges. Click on Capital Imaging's Empty Buyback List to see if your printer's ink cartridge is accepted in our program. Click here for more information on how our program works.
Some of the following recycling sites will give you the option to either take cash for your empty cartridges, or you can donate the proceeds to a charity of your choice.
Each recycling site has a list of printer cartridges that they will accept. Be sure to check that list before sending in your empty cartridges, because each organization will only pay for cartridges that they can accept - some even charge a penalty for cartridges that are not accepted. Some of the above recycling groups also offer new, recycled content and recyclable business and consumer products available at deeply discounted prices for school, office or personal use.
Start recycling your used ink cartridges today! Whether you opt to receive cash back or donate the proceeds to charity, it is the responsibility of everyone to do all we can today in order to insure the health of our planet tomorrow.