How To Recycle Fax Machines?

Modern fax machines are recyclable and similar to printer recycling. Here’s a complete guide on how to safely recycle fax machines, so you’ll have all the basic fax machine recycling knowledge.


Why Should You Recycle Fax Machines?

Here are the environmental reasons why you should recycle old fax machines:

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Less e-waste - 375 million ink cartridges are disposed of annually, which is 11 cartridges per second. Recycling fax machines lower these numbers.

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Environmental hazard - Many old fax machines contain harmful metals and chemicals. Landfills tend to leak, which means plants, animals, and people near the landfill are at risk of developing diseases.

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Less mining - If you throw away old fax machines, it means new materials need to be mined and new materials manufactured and shipped. This means more resources are spent instead of saved.

Here are the financial reasons you should recycle old fax machines:

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Collection of raw materials - Recyclers can collect many materials which can be reused to manufacture new items, such as ink cartridges and metals, which means less money spent.

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Lower disposal costs - Most states have laws and regulations for the disposal of e-waste with toxic materials, which can be costly for a business. You’ll pay less for waste disposal by recycling.

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Avoid fines - States have regulations for e-waste disposal, and it’s not allowed to recycle fax machines with regular recycling items. If you violate these, you risk paying high fines.

What Materials Can You Retrieve From Fax Machines?

You can retrieve these parts from fax machines by recycling them according to their parts:

Parts Retrieved Materials Through Recycling
Ink cartridge Can be reused for other fax machines or printers.
Circuit board Woven fiberglass
Body, paper trays, telephone base Plastic
Feed mechanism Rubber
Stepper motors Metal, stainless steel, or silicone steel
Scanner Glass
Printer Metal and plastic

Overall, a wide range of materials can be obtained from recycling fax machines, mostly metals, and plastics. These can be reused for manufacturing other items or converted into raw materials.

How to Recycle Fax Machines?

Here’s how to recycle fax machines.


E-Waste Recycler

E-waste recyclers are the best option for recycling fax machines. Professional e-waste centers have the necessary equipment and use industrial recycling processes to recover as many materials as possible from fax machines. Also, fax machines contain toxic and hazardous chemicals and can store your data, so finding a certified e-waste recycler is crucial.


Municipal Waste Management

Some municipalities have their own waste management programs. However, because fax machines contain toxic chemicals, such as lead and mercury, municipal waste programs rarely accept them for recycling. You should contact your municipal waste program and check if they accept fax machines.


Manufacturer/Seller Takeback Programs

Some manufacturers and sellers accept fax machines. Check their website or contact them directly to ask about fax machine recycling. Several national chains currently accept fax machines for recycling, such as Best Buy, Staples, and Recycle Nation.



If your old fax machine is in working condition, donate it to a local community center, school, senior center, or nonprofit organization. You can also donate to Goodwill and other organizations that help those in need.



List your fax machine for sale on eBay, Craigslist, or other websites for selling items in your area. You can also use Facebook and post your fax machine on local community groups.

Where to Recycle Fax Machines?

You can recycle fax machines by searching “fax machine recycling near me” or “recycle fax machines near me.” Or, use GreenCitizen services, no matter where in the US you’re located.

Drop-off Recycling (For Individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area) 

Gather all electronic items you want to be recycled and make a trip to our Burlingame EcoCenter. Our address is 1831 Bayshore HWY, Suite 2, Burlingame, CA 94010, USA.

Note: Some electronic items are free to recycle, while others aren’t. Fax machine recycling costs $1.00 per pound.

The employee at our center will accept and weigh your fax machine, and you can pay using a contactless chip reader.

Business Recycling Pickup (For Businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area)

Businesses in the SF Bay Area can use our pick-up services.

Here’s what to do:

  • Gather all electronic items you want to be recycled.
  • Separate the items with hard drives and data storage parts you want us to put through a data destruction process.
  • Take a photo of the items you want to recycle and email it to us. Our employee will give you a quote.
  • Confirm the pick-up time and make sure there’s easy access to the devices.
  • We’ll weigh the items, send you an invoice, and let you know when the items are recycled.

Mail-in Recycling (US-Wide Service)

If you don’t live in the SF Bay Area, you can mail in your fax machines.

Here’s how to mail your fax machine:

  • Weigh your fax machine and fill in the mail-in form.
  • Choose a data destruction service if you want us to do a full factory erase of the fax machine.
  • Pay the recycling fee online.
  • Select the shipping company you prefer and send us the fax machine.
  • We’ll notify you when we receive the fax machine.

Green Directory (US-Wide Service)

Green Directory lets you search for certified electronic waste recycling companies all over the US. This is one of the best ways to recycle fax machines because you can find a recycler near you and drop off or send your fax machine with minimal resources spent.

Enter your zip code in the Green Directory, and type fax machine in the search field. You’ll get a list of all recyclers near you.

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