Pin Me

Why It's Important to Refill or Recycle Printer Cartridges

written by: Amy Carson•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 11/12/2009

There are many reasons why you should keep old and unused ink cartridges out of landfills. Learn the methods to reuse and recycle your printer cartridges by either refilling them or send them to a proper recycling service.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Every year millions of tons of printer ink and toner cartridges end up in landfills even though they can be refilled or recycled properly. There are sufficient ways get the most life out of plastic cartridges and possible and to avoid dumping used cartridges in landfills. Here we'll look at several reasons why it's important and how you can start refilling or recycling your printer's ink cartridges instead of throwing them away.

  • slide 2 of 4

    Reasons to Reuse or Recycle

    •  Both reusing and recycling keeps cartridges out of landfills. Each year millions on tons are dumped in US landfills. Once there they release toxins and hazardous waste materials into the environment over the decades they take to decompose.
    •  Reusing cartridges means a significant reduction in both energy and resources. Around 2 liters of oil are used in the manufacturing process of one single laser printer cartridge.
    •  Recycling also conserves steel and aluminum, two other resources included in the manufacture of printer cartridges.
  • slide 3 of 4

    How to Refill and Recycle Cartridges

    There are a number of ways in which you can get the most out of your printer cartridges:

    •  Refilling: Cartridge refills are available from computer hardware store and online. This is much more economical than replacing them. It is important to ensure that you have the correct product to match your empty cartridge. Manufacturers and retail outlets will help you find the right one. If you don’t feel confident refilling your cartridge yourself you can have the service provided by a professional company. Though this is more expensive, you may find it more convenient. Most cartridges can be refilled for a maximum of three times, then they will need to be replaced.
    •  Recycling: Many of the companies who have collection service for refilling also offer a collection service for recycling. They will guarantee that the used cartridge will not end up in a landfill.
  • slide 4 of 4

    Buying Green Cartridges

    When the inevitable happens and you have to replace your old cartridge with a new one, help save the planet by buying green cartridges. The greenest option is to buy remanufactured cartridges. These are less expensive than brand new ones and are guaranteed to work just as effectively.