How to Recycle Ink Cartridges
More than 500 million printer cartridges are sold each year in the United States, and more than half — 350 million of those — are sent to landfills. Toner cartridges are both recyclable and reusable, so more eco-friendly options for disposal exist. There are two main choices for keeping printer cartridges out of landfills: recycling and refilling them.
If you want to refill your ink cartridges, there are two options. You can bring them to a retailer for this service — for example, participating Walgreens and Costco stores clean and refill cartridges in the photo department. You can also refill them on your own following these steps:
- Buy a printer cartridge refill kit at an office supply store or from an online retailer.
- Put on rubber gloves to prevent getting ink on your hands.
- Remove the printer cartridge and locate the two refill holes or toner refill port, which might be under the label.
- Follow the directions included with the kit to determine how exactly to fill your cartridges.
- Reseal the ink cartridge after refilling it.
- Clean the ink refill syringe after each use.
If you want to recycle your ink cartridges, use the Earth911 recycling locator to find options in your area.
Not sure whether refilling or recycling is the right option for you? Read on in our FAQs to see when each situation makes the most sense.
Frequent Ink Cartridge Recycling Questions
- How to Refill Inkjet Printer Cartridges: Step-by-step instructions on how to inject toner into your cartridges to save money and reduce waste
- HP’s Ink Cartridge Recycling Program: Information on HP’s innovative closed-loop recycling program and links to videos
- Office Depot Recycling Program: Recycle up to 10 cartridges a month to earn points toward a reward certificate
- Staples Ink Cartridge Recycling Program: This program gives customers $2 in rewards for every cartridge recycled