How to Recycle Ink and Toner Cartridges
Yes, yes, you probably read somewhere else about tips on how to recycle toner cartridges and ink cartridges. But there are probably a thing or two that you will learn here about recycling these printer consumables. With a plethora of compatible printer cartridges, consumers are after the ones that gives the highest quality and bigger savings. But there’s more than just about savings in buying these printer cartridges. Some people might be unaware that they are actually helping the environment. If you’re buying these compatible toner cartridges, yes you are making a big impact in our environment. Let me give you some digits on what this is all about.
Why waste ink and toner cartridges are harmful to the environment?
- Ink cartridges contain lead or mercury
- Toner powder are flammable when exposed to high temperature.
- The carbon in toner is classified as carcinogen
- It takes 1000 years for a cartridge to decompose
There are gazillion of other reasons but these ones top my list of harmful.
So why do we encourage to recycle toner cartridges and ink cartridges? Because one less cartridge in the landfill already prevents these harmful elements to mix in the environment. Printer manufacturers are actually making the same movement, of course, partly to battle the myriad of third party consumables but either way, it does create a greener office.
Why recycle ink and toner cartridges?
- 97% of the cartridge are recyclable
- 11 million cartridges are purchased every year but only 10% of these gets recycled
- It takes a few kilograms of raw materials to produce one cartridge
- A cartridge can be refilled 3-7 times
Benefits of recycling ink and toner cartridges?
- Up to 90% savings on a replacement cartridge
- Saved materials and energy on creating new cartridges
- Less wastes in the landfill
How to recycle toner cartridge and ink cartridge?
There are several ways you can try to recycle your printer cartridges.
There are toner and ink refills compatible to a specific cartridge. They are 90% cheaper than OEM and 70% cheaper than remanufactured toner cartridges. It only takes a few minutes to refill a cartridge. You just have to know how to refill and have the right tools for it.
Enroll in a return program
Manufacturers such as HP have return cartridge programs. All you need to do is register and send them your empty toner or ink cartridge. Programs like these offer replacement or pay you.
As weird as it sounds but there are actually organizations that collect waste printer cartridges. You can consider it a charity since they collect or buy it for you for and you help them with their cause at the same time. Organizations such as Earth911.com, Cartridges for Kids, eCycle Group, and Recycle4Charity pays you money for each cartridge you give.
Personally, I use remanufactured toner cartridges. These are also compatible cartridges but the difference is that they are actually made from parts of OEMs. The worn out parts are replaced and they are then refilled with compatible ink or toner. Using compatible replacements does save you money. But be careful in choosing the brand and quality as not all are made equal. Poorly made compatible toner cartridges could actually damage your printer and may void the warranty.