Upwards of 375 million ink cartridges yearly find their way in landfills worldwide. That totals out to more than a million cartridges daily or 11 every second of the day from sun-up to sundown. A good amount of this waste is completely unnecessary. Printer ink cartridges are built to be easily reused and taking a couple extra steps can help minimize waste, shrink your carbon footprint, and help boost your bottom line. Why throw away your empty ink cartridges when you can recycle them (and get paid for it when you do)? Recycling used printer cartridges helps you not only minimize waste, but contributes valuable components to be reused and refilled for remanufactured cartridges—a tested and true way to save money on your home or office printing. How do you get started?
- Once you’ve collected the empty ink cartridges and small personal electronics you wish to discard, go to Earth911.com to look for the nearest recycling center. You can also drop off your used cartridges at the closest Walgreens®, Costco®, Staples®, Office Depot®, or major office supply store nearest you.
- You may also want to look into some programs that give you money back for recycling cartridges like Cartridges for Kids, eCycle Group, and Recycle4Charity. The amount you get in return may depend on several factors, including whether the cartridge is an original manufacturer cartridge (OEM), the type of cartridge, and if the cartridge is virgin or non-virgin. Need Empty differentiates between virgin and non-virgin cartridges. See if there’s a recycle list available so you can have a better idea how much your cartridge is worth. Here’s where you can find the price list for the Cartridges for Kids program and the price list for the eCycle Group.
- In order for your cartridges to be recycled, they need to be received in good condition. Ink cartridges are not easy to make, but refilling them with professional quality ink is easy with the right tools. If you’re planning on sending them to the recycling facility, individually wrap each cartridge to minimize the likelihood they will be damaged in transit. Use bubble wrap or old newspapers to cushion them.
- If you have an OEM cartridge that you’ve used just once, consider refilling them so there’s less waste. Keep in mind that you can only refill your cartridge a few times.
Recycling cartridges nowadays is easier than ever. Find an option that’s most convenient for you and get started!!