Recycle Your Toner Printer Cartridges

  Written By Janelle Sullivan


Recycle Your Toner Printer Cartridges

Inkjet and toner cartridges are made out of plastic, a petroleum-based product that takes an estimated 1,000 years to decompose. The growing number of manufactured inkjet and toner cartridges is reason for concern; especially since millions of them find their way to landfills and incinerators every year. Not only does this have a negative impact on the environment, it literally taxes the resources of cities throughout the United States. Landfill management requires an enormous amount of money each year, just to keep up with volume of accumulated waste. It is up to us to find a solution that will decrease this growing threat – a solution that may require a proactive approach of recycling old materials.

Recycling used inkjet and toner cartridges is an easy solution that is very beneficial for the environment. Recycling promotes a healthier planet by reducing the amount of solid waste in landfills and helps to conserve raw materials – materials used to make new goods. Recent studies have suggested that people only reuse or recycle between 20-40% of all empty inkjet cartridges; leaving 60-80% of all inkjet and toner cartridges in existing landfills. And with about three hundred million of these cartridges thrown away each year, that can amount to nearly seventy-five thousand tons of trash. The environment simply cannot sustain itself at this current rate of consumption.

What is Recycling?

Recycling involves a process that changes waste materials into new products. It benefits the environment and its inhabitants by reducing the consumption rate of raw materials and energy. It also benefits the environment by reducing the production of air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gasses. Recycling is one of the three components involved in reducing modern waste and ensures the conversion of waste materials found in empty toner cartridges into new products without harming the environment.

Why is it Important to Recycle?

Recycling offers many benefits that can help the environment and the people who live in it, and its' benefits can be observed in many ways. For example, recycling saves energy by reducing the energy it takes to process reusable materials. The extra energy used to transport raw materials from one source to the next is also saved. It lessens global warming and environmental pollution by cutting back on the manufacturing of new goods using raw materials.

What Can I Recycle?

Recyclable materials include many types of raw materials, such as:

  • paper
  • glass
  • plastic
  • metal
  • textiles
  • and electronics

The petroleum-based plastic found in most inkjet and toner cartridges is a recyclable material. All recyclable materials are sorted through at a collection center that proceeds to clean and reprocess it into new materials bound for manufacturing. Recycling waste material produces a new supply of the same material; this makes it a possible solution to pollution on a bigger scale.

Where Can I Recycle Print Cartridges?

There are many companies that recycle old inkjet and toner cartridges, and many offer recycling services for free. Some companies also include a redeemable ticket when you purchase of a new toner cartridge. To recycle without getting a new cartridge, you can also ask office supply stores to refill your old cartridge with ore ink. Ask an adult for help when your printer runs out of ink and work together to find a solution that works for your family and the environment.

General Information on Recycling


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