How to Dispose of Printer and Toner Cartridges?

You’ve used a printer for years but don’t have a single idea on how to dispose of printer cartridges.

If you throw them in the trash bag with the rest of the garbage, store them in your closet once they don’t work anymore, or simply don’t know what to do with them, but you want to dispose of toner cartridges correctly, then this article is for you.

You’ll learn exactly how to do that with this article. We’ll teach you everything there’s to know about disposing of, recycling, and possibly re-using the cartridges in the best way possible.

Care to learn more about this? Scroll and find out!

Why Dispose of Printer & Toner Cartridges Correctly?

Why Dispose of Printer & Toner Cartridges Correctly

You may think a simple ink or toner cartridge doesn’t have any effect on the environment. But it does. Used cartridges actually have a hugely negative impact on the soil and water because of their toxicity. This makes them one of the worst and most common contaminants in cities.

At the same time, the plastic from these cartridges can easily last 400 years to disintegrate. And that can cause even more poisoning in the environment. Luckily, there’s always a way to dispose of these cartridges properly. Or if you want, simply recycle them so they can be re-used.

If you do this, you’ll be preventing several years of contamination that a single cartridge may produce. And even as a small step into preserving the world – it has a lot of value in the long term.

How to Dispose of Printer Cartridges

How to Dispose of Printer Cartridges

So, how can you dispose of printer cartridges the right way? Well, there are a few ways to do so without harming the environment. Here are the two and most effective ways:

Leave Them at a Supply Store

Supply stores will gladly accept any used cartridge you have. Some of them may even give you discounts or other products in exchange.

What these supply stores will do is to re-use them or simply sell them to plastic manufacturers. You can always ask the supply store employees and/or manage to know what will happen with your cartridges.

If you’re a businessman or a person who uses tons of cartridges a month/year, then you may even be able to join their reward programs. Stores like Office Depot and Staples will sign you up for their reward systems – so you can keep disposing of the cartridges with them and enjoy discounts.

In case you don’t find supply stores with these programs, you may ask them to recycle the cartridges. And they will surely accept them as a donation. This way, you won’t receive anything in exchange, but prevents you from disposing of them improperly.

Dispose of Properly

Dispose of Toner Cartridges Correctly

Let’s say you don’t have any supply store nearby or they just won’t accept yours because they’re too old, broken, dirty, etc.

In that case, you will have to dispose of the cartridges the right way. For that, you’ll have to avoid throwing them in the standard trash box. That will take the cartridges to the disposable products and other stuff that just promotes further contamination.

Instead, you need to throw the cartridges on the “green” recycling trash box. But before, remember to wrap the empty toners in a plastic bag. At the same time, try to identify the bag so you can let people know what it has inside. If you can’t dispose of cartridges this way, you may need to find a way to recycle them.

Where to Recycle Toner Cartridges?

Where to Recycle Toner Cartridges

So you tried disposing of the cartridges, but none of the two ways worked. Well, you can still recycle them. Here are a few ways to do so:


The first way to recycle your cartridge is to send them back to manufacturers. Yes, it doesn’t matter if they come from HP, Samsung, Epson, or any other brand – they will want them without a problem.

Some brands even sell their cartridges alongside a returnable envelope so you can send the cartridges back when necessary. Otherwise, you may need to check the manufacturer’s website and look for clues as to how to send them.

Usually, you just need to ship them using the mail. But some manufacturers may require you to drop them off in specific points in your city (suppliers, warehouses, customer service points, etc.) You can be sure that whatever method they use, it is probably the best way to recycle your cartridges.

Recycling Facility

If you don’t feel like sending it back to the manufacturer, then you can always find a recycling facility that accepts them. These facilities are pretty common and can be anywhere from facilities that accept cartridges and that sort of supplies, or simple plastic facilities.

Most of these places also accept all kinds of other stuff like cardboard, batteries, metal objects, and so on. So you may be able to not only send the empty cartridges that don’t work anymore but also a wide array of other stuff that you have lying around at home.

Schools or Colleges

Some schools and colleges use hundreds of cartridges a year. And sure enough, they tend to either recycle them by re-using them or merely sending them to recycling facilities.

In fact, some states even offer cash rewards to these schools or colleges that have tons of cartridges lying around. If you send even more cartridges for them, it is likely they will accept them without hesitation.

To know whether this could work, call the college or school in your area and ask them whether they recycle cartridges or plastics. If yes, then you know what to do.

Recycling Programs

You don’t have to look for schools or facilities that accept cartridges or plastics. You may instead go for non-profit programs or charities that offer this kind of service. And they will surely take anything you have to offer – including those printer cartridges.

What these organizations do is exchange whatever you give them for money. Then they use this money to donate into programs for churches, cancer or VIH research, homeless, orphans, and so on.

Most of these programs, however, may require you to sign up and become a member. If you’re a constant printer user, then you may end up offering your old cartridges consistently to them.

On the other hand, you may find online groups and programs that also offer this kind of opportunity. They will just get the cartridges and use them for fundraising and give back to non-profit organizations.

Whatever you do, always remember to ask for instructions and follow them to the letter. While you’re doing something with no reward, you still want to make sure it is done right.

Some Of Our Printer Resources:


Something not many people know about but is actually worth trying is selling your cartridges online. This may look like a way to dispose of them more than a way to recycle them – but most people who buy them are indeed recyclers.

You can just take a photo of the cartridges inside a box, describe how many you have, the size and or model, and then publish them. This could be through social media, eBay, online ads, or anywhere you think these people that recycle cartridges hang.

And you may give them for free or sell them – whichever you prefer. What’s sure is that those who get them will probably refurbish them and use them again. Or instead, you may just find one of those organizations, programs, or facilities that look for them.

So don’t hesitate to publish your empty cartridges on the web. You don’t know who may want them.


So, did you learn how to dispose of printer cartridges? If yes, then you’re ready to place them on a bag or box and send them up.

Choose the ideal option to recycle or dispose of them, and you won’t be disappointed. Remember, this is all about preserving the environment – so it’s all worth the effort.

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