How to recycle laser and inkjet printer cartridges

Updated April 17, 2017

Recycling your used inkjet and laser printer cartridges takes a little more effort than putting out your old newspapers and empty glass jars for the council to collect. It's definitely worth doing, however, when you consider than the materials used to manufacture printer cartridges can take over 1,000 years to decompose. Do your bit for the environment and keep your cartridges out of those landfill sites.

Find a charity that takes donations of inkjet and laser printer cartridges, such as British Red Cross, Tommy's or RSPCA. Follow the instructions on their website to donate your unwanted cartridges and help raise vital funds for your chosen charity. The Recycling Factory website also allows you to donate used cartridges to raise money for a wide range of charities.

Visit The Recycling Factory website to earn money from your used ink cartridges. Select the manufacturer and model of your cartridge from the drop down box to find out how much you could receive for it. Sign up for a free account. Print off a freepost label or request collection materials for your cartridges. Send your cartridges to The Recycling Factory or arrange for them to be collected from your home at no charge.

Check your ink cartridge manufacturer's website to see if they accept used cartridges. For example, HP have a Planet Partners program, which allows you to return original HP ink and toner cartridges. Visit HP's "Consumer and Home Office" page and select "Instructions for use." Follow the steps to package and return your cartridges, which will be recycled and used to make new cartridges. Epson and Canon have similar programs.

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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."