How to Recycle Printer Ribbon

Updated July 20, 2017

Governments are now urging computer companies, individuals, manufacturers, schools and virtually everyone else who uses printer cartridges to help reduce landfills by up to half by recycling. According to RecycleUS, "Americans use 300 million ribbons every year & 99% are dumped into landfills."

Recycled printer cartridges come in three categories: recycled toner cartridges, ink cartridges, and ribbon cartridges. Recycled cartridges are made from recycled waste and certain parts of used cartridges. Recycled ink and toner cartridge programs are easy to come by and will often pay you if you recycle with them. However, there are not many programs that recycle ribbon cartridges because they are harder to rework.

Write down the name and model of all of your printers, copy machines and faxes for your own reference.

Collect all of your empty ribbon cartridges. Verify that they are plastic. Do not damage them in any way.

Contact Northwest Ribbon Recycling, Inc. (a part of Northwest Printing Strategies, Inc.) by phone at 1-800-648-5156 or by sending them an e-mail to to get information about how to ship the cartridges or for any additional information you may need.

The company will mail you a prepaid label. You will be able to ship your cartridge(s) free of charge. For more information, visit the website (see Resources).

Write down the name and model number of all of your printers, copy machines and faxes for your own reference.

Print out a Ribbon Recyclers' return label (or however many you need, several per page) and cut it out using scissors. Fill out the lines under "From:" with your name and full address. Note that this is only the return label. See Resources for the label.

Place the cartridge(s) with the label attached in the mail to (according to Ribbon Recyclers):

Ribbon Recyclers at Ribbon Recyclers, Inc.

Denver, CO 80014-2223 - USA

They will return the cartridge(s) in 5-10 days so you can reuse it. Only 3% of the total number of cartridges Ribbon Recyclers receive are not recyclable; if this is the case, the cartridge(s) are returned, along with the reason why they cannot be recycled.

Call 1-800-477-3465 or e-mail with any questions. See Resources for the web address.

Things You'll Need

  • Ribbon cartridge(s)
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About the Author

Amber Riippa has been writing news since 2004. She has written for "Dayton Daily News," "Ashtabula Star Beacon" and Wright State University's "The Guardian." Riippa holds a certification in technical communication and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wright State University.