What To Do with Old Toner Cartridges – Quick Guide

People who use and often replace printer toner cartridges understand the importance of disposing of them correctly.

You need to be aware of what to do with toner cartridges.

The waste generated from old toner cartridges is a huge environmental concern considering that today’s market offers 25% to 60% more yield than earlier models.

Toner cartridge waste in United States alone is estimated to be as high as 300 million cartridges.

This waste subsequently lands in the landfills and poses a threat to the environment.

The environmental impact of toner cartridge disposal is one of the most controversial environmental issues today.

Landfills are notorious for creating environmental hazards and the toner cartridges thrown away become part of that.

This is because the toner inside these cartridges seeps out through the damaged plastic and into landfills near groundwater, where it has a tendency to leach into soil and water.

What to do with old toner cartridges

There are a number of ways you can dispose of old toner cartridges.

Plastic waste is a massive problem considering only about 8% of the plastics produced these days are recycled.

When you throw it away, it ends up in landfills or dumpsites.

Rather than contribute to the problem, you can do your own part in keeping the environment clean by taking care of your unwanted toner cartridges responsibly.

Here are 8 practical ideas about what to do with old toner cartridges:

Sell unused toner cartridges

Do you have a stack of cartridges tossed in the corner of the garage and not sure what to do with them?

If you are struggling with how to dispose of toner cartridges, you can sell them as a second-hand item online or through a company like ebay.com or craigslist.

Many people are selling their ink cartridges for cash because There are lots of people searching for a sweet deal on printer ink cartridges and if you have a lot of them to sell then you can make a small fortune.

For starters, make sure you’re only selling genuine products and not generic or refilled ones.

It should be brand new, factory sealed and contain the original equipment number.

Additionally, the cartridges you’re selling should still be packaged in the actual retail box.

With all these requirements met, you should be able to land several buyers and make money out of your unused toner cartridges.

Also, use only the reputable online vending website so that you’re protected when you sell them.

Check if they offer secure transactions, guarantee of safe delivery and full money back for undelivered orders.

You’ll also want to research the value of your cartridges before selling them.

This way, you sell the products at a fair and competitive price.

Donate unused toner cartridges

Do you have a pile of unwanted toner cartridges that are still in their retail packaging?

Donate it to a good cause.

You can donate them through your local charities or organizations that run printer recycling programs.

Another option is to sell the unused cartridges online and donate the proceeds to these organizations.

Many non-profit organizations accept donations from people like you who support the cause.

The great thing about this approach is that the unused toner cartridges will still be reused and the proceeds will go to good causes.

You get to ease your guilty conscience by making a charitable contribution and doing your part in keeping the environment clean at the same time.

Drop them off at a retailer

The truth is retailers have a responsibility to handle waste from their business appropriately.

They are a part of the larger industry which produces millions of tons of waste every year.

As consumers, you are part of this feedback loop by contributing to demand for cartridges.

Do not throw them in your trashcan! There are lots of ways you can dispose of old toner cartridges without harming the environment.

You do not have to dispose of your toner cartridges in your regular garbage bin.

Rather, take them back to an authorized retailer for recycling.

Some retailers like Office Depot and Staples offer a recycling program.

You can drop off your old toner cartridges in their stores and they will recycle them responsibly.

When you buy recycled cartridges from these retailers, you are helping to replenish the supply of recycled cartridges available for purchase.

You’ll go home knowing you’ve done your part to keep the environment clean and to help prevent global warming from happening.

Recycle with a reputable company

There are many recycling companies that offer recycling services for old toner cartridges.

Before you recycle your old cartridges, make sure you get a receipt for your recycled goods.

Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous companies out there who take advantage of people with their waste disposal services.

By requesting for a receipt, you ensure that you’re working with a reputable company and your waste is being disposed of properly.

There are many ways recycling companies dispose of waste toner cartridges.

In most cases, they’re cleaned thoroughly, refilled and then resold.

Choose a company that is more convenient to you especially when it comes to shipping rates.

Some recycling companies offer free shipping for customers who live in specific areas or spend a certain amount of money.

Others allow you to drop off your waste at their facilities in your area.

If you choose to recycle with a reputable company, do some research on the company first so you know they’re reputable and ethical.

Find out how they dispose of the waste and what their environmental record is like.

Look for recycling companies that are certified by an agency such as Green America or Environmental Choice Australia.

Use a recycling toner collection unit

Responsible printing goes hand in hand with proper and safe disposal of the toner collection kits.

For that reason, you’re required to return your collection kits together with the toner cartridges.

You cannot just discard the collection kits because they’re recyclable.

Therefore, when you notice that the toner collection kits have piled up, seal them in a bag together with the cartridges and take the bag to a recycling company for proper disposal.

This will ensure you take the initiative to keep the environment clean.

That said, this option is currently only accessible to large enterprise customers.

Use mail-in recycling programs

According to a publication, an estimated 75% of used printer ink cartridges are not recycled even though several recycling options are made available.

When you have a lot of waste toner cartridges, you may want to consider signing up for mail-in recycling programs offered by various companies.

Doing this will ensure your environmental responsibility isn’t compromised.

More so, because you only dispose of large quantities at once, the costs are significantly lower than buying new cartridges every time your printer runs out.

Mail-in recycling programs differ from company to company but they generally get the job done efficiently and affordably.

For example, when you purchase a new laser printer from HP Inc.

and you choose to recycle your waste toner cartridges through their mail-in recycling program, this is how it goes HP Inc will provide you with a pre-paid package that you can use to ship your used cartridges back to them.

Once HP Inc receives the package, they will review and test the waste toner cartridges inside before recycling them responsibly.

Once everything is done, they will then send a printed confirmation of your transaction including the details of what was recycled and what materials were recovered during the process.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint through responsible printing practices.

One such way is by recycling your old toner cartridges instead of just discarding them after they are emptied.

You save time, money and the environment because you’re not just sending your used cartridges to the landfill.

Instead, you get to recycle them responsibly and still have access to affordable printing solutions.

Let’s work to protect our environment for future generations to enjoy the same pristine beauty we do now.


Can i throw away a waster toner cartridge?

As much as it’s tempting, you have to be wary of throwing your waste toner cartridges in the trash.

The reason for this is because if you contribute to the waste toner cartridges being improperly disposed, you’re endangering the environment.

Therefore, make sure you take your old waste toner cartridges back to an authorized recycler for proper recycling of these and other disposables.

Is printer toner a hazardous waste?

It depends on who you ask.

This is because the answer is actually complicated.

There are different federal and state agencies that will regulate if a particular substance is considered a hazardous waste.

However, there are also different standards and regulations for printers as there are for normal garbage.

For example, when the printer company has to dispose of their cartridges, they have to find an authorized location that will take these items responsibly.

Is printer toner carcinogenic?

The truth is that there is no conclusive or consistent evidence as yet that proves that printer toner is carcinogenic.

Additionally, the EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, Health and Environment has not issued a statement recommending printer toner should be considered as a hazardous waste or even a carcinogen.

However, there is still a lot for us to find out about the health effects of printer toner.

As such, it would be best to exercise precaution and dispose of your waste toner cartridge responsibly.