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.

Want to know more? Scroll down to learn more!

Why Dispose of Printer & Toner Cartridges Correctly?

You may think a simple ink or toner cartridge doesn’t have any effect on the environment. It does. Because of their toxic nature, used cartridges can have a devastating effect on soil and water. This makes them one the most prevalent contaminants in cities.

These cartridges are also extremely durable and can last up to 400 years before they start to break down. This can lead to even more environmental poisoning. Luckily, there’s always a way to dispose of these cartridges properly. Or, recycle them if desired.

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

So how do you dispose of printer cartridges correctly? There are a few options that can be used to dispose of printer cartridges safely and without causing damage to the environment. Here are the top two most effective ways.

Leave them at a Supply Store

Any used cartridge will be accepted by supply stores. Some supply stores will even offer discounts or other products for you to exchange your cartridges.

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These supply stores will either re-use the cartridges or sell them to plastic makers. You can always ask employees at supply stores and/or find out what happens to 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. They will accept them as a gift. This way, you won’t receive anything in exchange, but prevents you from disposing of them improperly.

Properly dispose

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.

You will need to dispose of the cartridges in a proper manner. For that, you’ll have to avoid throwing them in the standard trash box. This will make the cartridges more likely to be contaminated with other disposable products.

Instead, you need to throw the cartridges on the “green” recycling trash box. You should wrap the empty cartridges in a plastic bag before you do this. You should also identify the bag so that you can tell others what it contains. If you can’t dispose of cartridges this way, you may need to find a way to recycle them.

Where can I recycle my toner cartridges?

You tried a few different ways to dispose of the cartridges. They can still be recycled. Here are some options:


To recycle your cartridge, send it back to the manufacturer. 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 sell their cartridges with a returnable envelope so that you can send them back when needed. Otherwise, you may need to check the manufacturer’s website and look for clues as to how to send them.

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You can usually send them via the mail. However, some manufacturers may require that they be dropped off at certain points in your area (suppliers, warehouses or customer service points). No matter which method they use to recycle your cartridges, you can rest assured that it is the best.

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 quite common and can accept any type of cartridges or supplies.

Many of these places will also accept cardboard, batteries, metal objects, etc. 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 and Colleges

Many schools and colleges have hundreds of cartridges in their annual supply. They recycle them either by reusing them, or just sending them to recycling centers.

Some states even offer cash incentives to schools or colleges with lots of cartridges. They will likely accept more cartridges if you send them.

Ask your local college or school if they recycle plastics or cartridges to find out if this is possible. If they do, you will know what you should do.

Recycling Programs

You don’t have to look for schools or facilities that accept cartridges or plastics. This type of service can be provided by non-profit organizations or charities. And they will surely take anything you have to offer – including those printer cartridges.

These organizations will exchange your money for money. They then use the money to donate to programs for homeless, orphans and cancer research, churches, and other causes.

However, most of these programs 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 On the other hand, there may be online groups or programs that offer this type of opportunity. They will only receive the cartridges and donate them to non-profit organizations.

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Always ask for and follow the instructions no matter what. While you’re doing something with no reward, you still want to make sure it is done right.

Some of Our Printer Resources


It is worth considering selling your cartridges online, which is something not many people know about. 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 simply take a photograph of the cartridges within a box, then describe how many you have, their size, or model, and publish them. This could be done through social media or eBay.

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, you might find one of the programs or facilities that are looking for them.

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


Did you learn how to dispose 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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