How To Recycle Ink Cartridges (And Get Paid!)

Ink cartridge in printerRecycling has been trending all around the world for the past few years. And every year, it’s getting more and more popular.

People are beginning to realize that a small change can make a massive difference.

There are several good recycling programs out there, and as technology progresses, so does the ability to recycle materials.

Ink cartridges have become a bit of trash problem, and with so many businesses relying on them, it’s no surprise we can see a build-up. So, how do we recycle ink cartridges? And, can you really get paid for it?

Let me take you to recycling school, and share the answers with you.

Why Recycle Ink Cartridges?

According to research, over 375 million cartridges are chucked away every year, which is why recycling is so important.

Ink cartridge recycling can massively beneficial or environment.

When you send old ink cartridges to the landfill, you are putting our natural resources at risk. When heavy rainfalls, it washes out the hazardous materials inside the print cartridge. Which then leads to the ink polluting our soil and water sources.

But that’s not the only reason:

Manufacturing new ink cartridges are debilitating or natural resources:

  • Oil
  • Petroleum
  • Minerals
  • Water

Recycling reduces our need for raw materials. And with raw materials running low, it’s more important than ever to recycle our old cartridges. Only one-third of cartridges are recycled; that means two-thirds end up at landfill sites.

Printer cartridges can take hundreds of years to decompose, which creates a massive amount of waste. And to make it worse, the chemicals inside are poisoning the planet. They need to be disposed of correctly!

How Can I Recycle Ink Cartridges?

Unfortunately, putting your old printer cartridges in your curbside recycling program won’t work. Due to the hazardous materials inside, it requires specialized recycling.

recycling hp ink cartridgesLuckily you can recycle them very quickly; there are plenty of ink cartridge recycling centers that will take them off your hands.

Some ink cartridge manufacturers have their own recycling programs. They even include all the recycling materials you need in the pack.

They pay for all the shipping, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. It makes sense for them to take back their cartridges. It saves them money in the long run.

You could also drop them off at your local store; many shops run an in-store recycling program. Stores like Home Depot, Staples, or an office supply store will have a drop off box.

Drop off point

Charities are always more than happy to take your recyclables; they donate any proceeds to a good cause.

You do have one more option; you could sell them!

How To Get Paid To Recycle Ink Cartridges

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, but ink cartridges are ridiculously expensive. But that does mean there’s a demand for your old ink cartridges.

The demand has got so high several online companies are making a business recycling our waste cartridges. They even pay up to $1-2 per ink cartridges.

Have a search online to see who will offer you the best deal.

Although it might not seem like much, over time, it could be a small fortune. If that isn’t motivation enough for recycling your inkjet cartridges, I don’t know what is.

Can I Refill Cartridges?

Removing the ink label to refillYes, you can. If you want to refill your ink cartridges, you have a couple of options to choose from.

You might decide to return them to your local Costco store. The staff in the photo department will be able to refill them for you.

If you haven’t got a Costco near you, they’re a couple more stores you can try.

  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Cartridge World
  • Computer shops

And of course, if you don’t fancy paying other people to do it for you, then you could always refill them yourself. It’s a lot easier than you think and saves you money. Check out how to refill your printer cartridge, you’ll be surprised how simple it is:

  1. Purchase a refill kit from your local printer supplies store or search online for a suitable retailer.
  2. Protect your hands with rubber gloves, getting black ink on your hands will result in staining
  3. Remove your ink cartridge from the printer
  4. Locate the two refill holes; some times manufacturers hide them under the label of the printer cartridges
  5. Now it’s time to follow the refill guidelines provided by the refill kit. Each one works slightly differently so make sure you follow the guidelines
  6. Reseal your inkjet cartridges
  7. Clean the ink refill syringe after each use

It really is that easy to refill your ink cartridges, and it makes it a lot cheaper.


There we have it, some pretty solid reasons why recycling ink cartridges is so essential.

There are a few things I’d like you to take away. Firstly, cartridge recycling is super beneficial for the environment and your wallet.

Every month millions of laser printer cartridges are chucked in the waste when we need to recycle them. This helps stop the build-up in waste and the pollution that comes with it.

If you liked this article don’t forget to share it with the world on Twitter or Facebook. If you have any questions on how to recycle cartridges, don’t forget to comment below.

If you still have a craving to find more hidden recyclables, why not check out my article about recycling straws.

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