CompAndSave Blog
Please input your keyword.

Recycle Printer Ink Cartridges: 5 Best Places


recycle printer ink cartridges

Recycling isn’t just for paper, glass, and plastic. Do you know that printer cartridges can be recycled?

Surprisingly, 60% to 80% of used toner cartridges end up in landfills globally. The plastic in these cartridges can take up to 1,000 years to break down. To contribute to a greener planet, recycling printer ink cartridges is a responsibility we should NOT IGNORE.

If you’re looking for ways to help the environment, this guide will help you to know the following:

  • Why You Should Recycle Printer Ink Cartridges
  • Where to Recycle Ink Cartridges Near You
  • Best Places to Recycle Printer Ink Cartridges
  • Online Recycling Options

Why It is Important to Recycle Printer Ink Cartridges

We’ve finally learned the actual cost of electronic waste. Today’s e-waste recycling serves a dual purpose – conserving resources and preventing harmful electronic components from ending in landfills. This is how modern e-waste recycling looks nowadays. Electronic components are made of cadmium, mercury, lead, phosphors, etc. These components pose a challenge as they can’t easily be separated.

Dumping old electronics in landfills is a no-go, as it risks contaminating groundwater and soil. Crushing or burning them is also a bad idea, releasing harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. That’s why e-waste must be recycled appropriately, including ink and toner cartridges.

The approach to recycle printer ink cartridges isn’t just about reducing waste; it’s a vital step in conserving resources and safeguarding the environment.

The good news? Nearly 100% of printer cartridge materials can be recycled, making it a win for sustainability.

Reducing Waste

Printer cartridges, composed of materials that linger in landfills for centuries, contribute to electronic waste. Toner and cartridge recycling reduces electronic waste, lessening the environmental impact of printing.

Preserving Resources

Toner and cartridge recycling is a resource-efficient practice. It diminishes the demand for new materials. Programs for recycling cartridges recover materials like metal, plastic, and toner, ready to be reused in crafting new cartridges.

Energy Conservation

By recycling printer cartridges, energy consumption is curtailed. This occurs by lessening the need for new materials and decreasing the energy used in manufacturing fresh cartridges.

Economical Advantages

Toner and cartridge recycling proves economical for both businesses and individuals. Many recycling programs provide discounts or incentives for returning used cartridges. Moreover, recycled cartridges often come at a lower cost than new ones, contributing to overall savings on printing expenses.

Where to Recycle Ink Cartridges

Spots of eco-friendly printer ink cartridges are found in nearly every office supply store or major department store. Drop off your empty printer cartridges at familiar places like Target, Walmart, or Best Buy. Alternatively, visit a local recycling facility or mail your empty cartridges to a third-party recycling program or manufacturer.

How It Works: Toner and Cartridge Recycling

Recycling ink cartridges isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s crucial for our journey towards sustainability. Interested to know “Where to Recycle Ink Cartridges?” You may initially follow these refill steps to recycle ink cartridges responsibly and effectively yourself:

Step 1: Get a refill kit from an office supply store or online.

Step 2: Wear rubber gloves to handle the refill process cleanly.

Step 3: Find the toner refill port/refill holes under the cartridge label.

Step 4: Use the provided syringe to inject ink into the port/holes as instructed.

Step 5: Reseal the cartridge after refilling.

Step 6: Clean the syringe carefully after each use.

Remember: Wrap empty cartridges in plastic after removal from your printer to prevent leaks and set them aside for recycling.

5 Best Places to Recycle Printer Ink Cartridges Near You

Are you curious about the best local places to recycle ink cartridges and toner cartridges? Look no further!

In this section, we’ll unveil five convenient options for responsibly disposing of your cartridges.

1. Office Depot /OfficeMax

Office Depot and Office Max stores are great places to recycle your printer cartridges. They take both ink and toner cartridges, helping reduce landfill waste. They don’t offer compensation for returned cartridges. Their programs let you earn 200 reward points for each recycled ink cartridge. These points can be redeemed for savings on upcoming buys and rewards certificates.

Plus, if you make a qualified $10 purchase in the same month, you’re in for extra perks!

2. Staples

Staples, a central office supply store, makes recycling easy with bins at nearly every location. They recycle both toner cartridges and ink cartridges, encouraging environmental responsibility. Like Office Depot, Staples doesn’t provide cash incentives or store credits.

However, when you recycle printer cartridges at Staples and spend $50 on ink or toner, you earn $2 in rewards—talk about a win-win for you and the planet!

3. Best Buy

You can recycle toner cartridges or ink cartridges effortlessly at Best Buy! Just drop them into the recycling bins near the store’s entrance. Best Buy is dedicated to responsible toner and cartridge recycling.

Feel free to bring in your used cartridges, although they don’t offer compensation for returns.

4. Target

Contribute to a greener environment by recycling your printer cartridges at Target. Look for the recycling bins near the store’s entrance, where you can recycle plastic, glass, aluminum, and electronics.

Target supports ink cartridge recycling during your shopping trip. Drop off your used cartridges—no compensation is provided, but you’ll make a positive impact.

5. Costco

Join Costco in promoting environmental sustainability by recycling both ink and toner cartridges. Feel free to drop them off for recycling. Remember that Costco doesn’t offer cash incentives or store credits for returned items. It’s all about contributing to a sustainable future!

Online Recycling Options

If online recycling suits your preference, check out these platforms that not only take in cartridges but may also provide compensation:

1. Milner

Milner welcomes all ink and toner cartridges, whether remanufactured or OEM. They strictly adhere to a zero-landfill policy, showcasing their commitment to responsible recycling. While they don’t offer compensation, their dedication is commendable.

2. Planet Green Recycle

This platform accepts all ink cartridges, excluding toner, regardless of make, condition, or model. Compensation is provided only for OEM ink cartridges in good condition that can be remanufactured. Please note that they do not handle toner cartridges.

3. Ink Recycling

Ink Recycling accepts both remanufactured and OEM ink cartridges, offering cash back specifically for OEM cartridges. It’s a straightforward way to contribute to recycling while earning a bit in return.

4. US Recycling

US Recycling accepts a wide range of toner and ink cartridges, both remanufactured and OEM. They have a program designed for non-profits, schools, and businesses. Check their guidelines to ensure eligibility and participate in responsible recycling.

5. Funding Factory

If you’re part of a non-profit organization or school, Funding Factory is an excellent choice. They accept toner and ink cartridges from their qualifying list. Ensure the items are undamaged and not previously remanufactured. It’s a perfect opportunity to raise funds while contributing to recycling efforts.


Recycling your printer cartridges is vital for conserving resources, reducing waste, and safeguarding the environment. With numerous compelling reasons to recycle ink cartridges, it’s time to take action.

Ready to make a change?

Whether you opt for an online service or a local retailer, recycling toner and ink cartridges is an easy yet effective way to help make the planet cleaner.

Discover Tips That Increase the Life of Your Ink Cartridges can also save you money.

Join us in recycling – thank you for being an Earth-friendly citizen!

Do you still have questions? Contact our support team for any assistance. Contact us at 1-833-465-6888, Monday to Friday, between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT. We’re all about making sure your printing experience is smooth and enjoyable. Give us a call, and let’s make your printing journey hassle-free together!


Is it better to recycle or refill ink cartridges?

It is best to recycle printer ink cartridges for proper disposal. Refilling produces less waste, but cartridges have a limit on how many times they can be reused. Many find refilling more convenient as it tops the cartridge, making it last longer than some new ones. If you choose to refill, remember to recycle the cartridges when they end their useful lifespan.

How many times can I refill my printer cartridges?

Most printer cartridges can be refilled successfully numerous times, often varying between three to seven refills. Toner cartridges can be refilled two or three times before needing replacement. For inkjet printers, avoid letting the cartridge run completely dry before filling to prevent the sponges from drying, making them non-refillable.

Where to recycle toner cartridges?

Because ink cartridges contain diverse materials and are small, they cannot be placed in the regular recycling bin. Explore various options to recycle toner cartridges based on the cartridge manufacturer and nearby office stores. OfficeMax/Office Depot, Best Buy, and Staples offer rewarding cartridge recycling programs. Choose the option that suits you and positively impacts the environment.

Why are printer ink cartridges recycled?

Toner and cartridge recycling isn’t just about less waste in landfills—it also brings social and economic benefits. Recycling reduces the need for new resources to make ink and toner cartridges.

What happens to ink cartridges when they are recycled?

After sorting cartridges, a machine breaks them down, separating each usable part for recycling. Once sorted and isolated, they can be sent for processing or handled in-house. Now, they’re prepared to be transformed into something new.

comments powered by Disqus