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. All you have to do is type in “printer cartridges” into their recycling finder, add your zip code and you will get an entire list of your local recycling locations. You can also download Earth911.com’s iRecycle recycling app for access to 1,600,000 ways to recycle over 350 materials. Alternatively, you can drop off your used cartridges at any major office supply store like Costco®, Staples® or Office Depot®. LD Products accepts recycled cartridges too but we recommend recycling them locally if you can rather than shipping them back to us. It’s not only better for the environment to keep them local, but the benefits of the recycled materials stay in the community and you reduce your carbon footprint.
- You may also want to look into some programs that give you money back for recycling cartridges like Cartridges for Kids. Cartridges for Kids works with businesses, schools, churches and nonprofits throughout the country, with many organizations using the service as a fundraising opportunity. They even offer a number of free fundraising tools directly on their site, including flyer templates and tips for a successful recycling campaign. 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.
- 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 with a cartridge refill kit so there’s less waste. Refill kits include a bottle of ink, a syringe, screw tool and gloves for easy at-home refilling that can get your cartridge working again in minutes. Check out our ink refill kit video to see how it’s done. LD Products offers refill kits for a number of popular ink cartridges, including HP and Canon. Keep in mind that you can only refill your cartridge a few times. Eventually the cartridge will wear out after repeated use and will need to be replaced.
Recycling cartridges nowadays is easier than ever. Find an option that’s most convenient for you and get started!!