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Published on October 22nd, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans


Recycling Printer Cartridges

You have purchased an ENERGY STAR computer and monitor, you buy only recycled printer paper, and your power save option is turned on.  What other steps can you take towards green computing?  How about recycling your old printer cartridges as an additional green measure?  Used printer cartridges are such a commodity that companies are even willing to pay for their return.

These cartridges that hold ink or toner are made up almost entirely of plastic.  Plastic, being an oil based product, comes from a non-renewable resource.  Simply recycling these cartridges will foster sustainability is this sense alone.  Going further into the process, most cartridges only need to be cleaned up and refilled, which cuts back on the manufacturing process.  Chalk up another win for sustainability as there are far less carbon emissions involved in the refilling process compared with manufacturing new cartridges.

Recycling old cartridges takes little effort as well.  Most office supply stores will exchange a ream of printer paper for each cartridge recycled.  Stores are springing up everywhere that sell refilled/recycled cartridges.  Usually, you can return your empty cartridges for a credit towards a purchase.  Or, you can take your social responsibility a step further and donate your empty cartridges to a local school who may be participating in one of many fundraising opportunities fostered by the recycling industry.

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