How to Dispose of Toner Cartridges

Updated February 21, 2017

Toner cartridges can contain chemicals that are hazardous to the environment. Over forty million ink cartridges are used every year and about ninety per cent of them can be recycled with minimal effort. That is a whole lot of waste. If you have any cartridges lying around, do the earth a favour and dispose of them in a way that is friendly for the environment.

Check to make sure your toner cartridge has no ink left inside of it. Ink cartridges are expensive; some of them even top the cost of the printers they are made for.

Research local companies that may sell ink cartridges. Often some places will offer incentives for you to recycle the cartridges, such as store credit and free services.

Call local companies and see if they offer recycling. Some companies will take the cartridges from you and recycle them in mass quantities.

Contact the manufacturers of the cartridges. They can often offer helpful advice in economically disposing of their products. A company may decide to take them back and reuse them.


Keep your cartridges in a cardboard box or something that has a plastic liner. Keeping cartridges in this box while they wait to be disposed of will help you prevent messes caused by ink spills and leaky cartridges. This is also helpful if you don’t have the time to run one out to recycle every time your toner runs dry.


Avoid touching the cartridges as much as you can. The chemicals that are not good for the earth are probably not going to do you much good either.

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Randall Shatto is a professional writer with 10 years of experience. Shatto maintains a focus in internet freelance ghost writing. His expertise includes medical writing, college paper composition and SEO-rich content writing. With only a high school education, Shatto's opportunities continue to grow. Shatto resides in the beautiful state of Oregon.