We’ve always recycled our laser and ink jet cartridges and I just figured that everyone knew what to do with their empties until a neighbor asked what to do with their old one.
Why recycle? According to RecyclePlace.com, the plastic from the 25 million cartridges that go into land fills every month will take over 1000 years to decompose. An article on e-How states that a third of businesses use remanufactured printer cartridges. Recycling the plastic from your cartridge not only helps to reduce the amount of trash in our landfills, but repurposed cartridges can be used up to six times with the same functionality as new ones.
Recycling is easy! There are a number of different ways you can recycle your printer cartridges:
HP cartridges come with a postage paid envelope inside each package for easy recycling. Find the envelope that is usually located along with the instructions, slip in your old cartridge, mail it back, and HP will take care of the rest.
Take your cartridge to Staples and exchange it for $3 coupon good towards new ink. According to the Staples website, they accept HP, Lexmark™ or Dell cartridges but we’ve found that our store will also take Epson cartridges back. Staples also offers InkDrop service that allows customers to drop a new cartridge in their printer and mail us the empty using the prepaid shipping materials. They will send a replacement automatically and shipping is free.
Check with your local school to see if they have a recycling program. The elementary school where I teach has a collection box inside the front door for parents, staff, and the community to drop off the cartridges. Cartridges are shipped back and our school receives money that we use to purchase new ink for our classroom printers. In a time where school budgets are extremely tight, the money generated from cartridge recycling programs is invaluable!
If your school or organization would like to get a recycling program started for your printer cartridges, here are just a few of the many sites to get one started for your family, school, or charity:
While the recycling programs may not seem to pay a ton of money for each cartridge, each little bit adds up and there is no price that can be put on helping the environment by keeping tons of plastic out of our landfills each year.
How do you recycle your cartridges? Do you have a recycling program that you currently use and recommend? Feel free to leave a comment!
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama