How To Recycle Ink/Toner Cartridges?

Too many people at home and in offices still throw their ink and toner cartridges in the trash when they replace them. The problem is that they can contain small amounts of toxic materials, and ink and toner cartridge recycling really couldn’t be any easier.

There are plenty of easy ways to do the right thing and avoid unnecessary raw material waste and environmental pollution.


Why Should You Recycle Ink/Toner Cartridges?

When you recycle toner cartridges, you will help to conserve raw materials. And one of the key benefits of doing this is that these cartridges can often be reused up to six times.

But estimates suggest that less than 50% of cartridges actually make it into the circular economy. That means there is a huge amount of waste when it comes to materials that could be used to make a wide range of new devices.

And increased recycling activity would also reduce the unnecessary need for a constant landfill supply.

Here are the main reasons why you should consider doing the right thing:

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Reduce Toxic Materials - People often find old printers gathering dust, and some older models can contain toxins.

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Reuse Functioning Devices - In many cases, ink and toner cartridges can be reused up to six times while still printing perfectly fine.

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Conserve Raw Materials - Once they do need to be broken down, cartridges can provide plenty of raw materials like plastic and copper to make new devices.

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Reduce Greenhouse Gases - Electronic devices often end up being shipped to developing countries, where they are burned in the open air.

Let’s take a closer look at what kind of materials they contain.

What Materials Can You Retrieve From Ink/Toner Cartridges?

Aside from ink and toner powder, these cartridges mainly contain plastic silicon and small amounts of metal like copper. That makes them an ideal candidate for breaking down into reusable materials that can reduce the need for freshly sourced raw materials.

However, because cartridges are small and difficult to break up, it’s important that you only bring them to a recycling company that has the tools and experience to extract all the raw materials.

It’s also important to properly identify the different types of plastic that ink and toner manufacturers use, as mixing different types can make it difficult or impossible to then reuse as a raw material.

How to Recycle Ink/Toner Cartridges?

Whether you need to recycle brother toner cartridges or some Epson ink cartridges, there are several ways to approach this process in the right way. And unless you deal with credible and certified companies, they could end up doing more damage than good.


E-Waste Recyclers

One of the safest and most viable options for all kinds of toner and ink cartridges is to bring them to an e-waste recycling facility. If you find a registered and certified company, then you’ll have the peace of mind that your old devices will be handled in the most eco-friendly way. There are still too many companies that export all sorts of electronic devices to developing countries where they are often open-air burned to make it easier to get at the valuable metals.


Municipal Waste Management

If you search for “recycle toner cartridges near me,” then you’ll likely find that quite a few municipal waste centers will also accept office electronics and will recycle toner cartridge devices from all manufacturers. Just make sure you call them first to see if there are any types of cartridges that they don’t accept.


Big Box Retailers And Electronic Stores

And the other option you have is to head to your office supply or electronics store that sells printers and cartridges. Many of these retailers have their own recycling programs, or they partner with different brands to handle the collection. You can often buy new cartridges and at the same time return the old ones for recycling.

Where to Recycle Ink/Toner Cartridges?

Here at GreenCitizen, we offer a wide range of convenient recycling options for businesses and non-commercial customers. Simply choose one of the below options and see how easy it is to deal with our customer service team.

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

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, then the easiest option you have is to pre-fill a recycling form and then drop off your cartridges at our Burlingame location. You can then arrange to drop them off at a convenient time for you.

You then simply pay the small processing fee, and you’ll know that your old devices won’t do any harm.

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

Any business in the Bay Area can also make arrangements with our team for a collection of larger quantities of recyclable devices. You fill out a form to list what you need us to collect, and we’ll invoice you for the collection service.

Make sure that all the devices are stored in a box, and make sure our collection team has easy access to them.

Mail-in Recycling (US-Wide Service)

If you’re not close enough to the Bay Area, then you can also mail your old cartridges to us. We have a separate form and process for this, and you just need to provide us with the details of the devices and pay the fee in advance. Then use your preferred delivery service to send them to our recycling center.

Green Directory (US-Wide Service)

And finally, you can also search our Green Directory for a registered and certified recycling company near you. Simply enter the type of devices you want to recycle along with your zip code, and you’ll receive a list of available options near you.

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