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How to Recycle Photocopier Toner Cartridges

Updated February 21, 2017

No matter what brand and model of photocopier you own, eventually you need to change the toner. When you install a new toner cartridge, however, you should not toss the used one in the trash. Toner cartridges are designed to be recyclable, and recycling those cartridges properly helps the environment. Toner cartridges contain potentially harmful chemicals.

Check the bottom of the box containing the new toner cartridge. Many toner manufacturers include a prepaid return label to make recycling the used cartridge easier.

Log on to the website of your copier manufacturer. Search for the word "recycle" or "recycling" if there is no prepaid return label in the box. Enter your return address to create a prepaid shipping label.

Wrap the used toner in cling film or bubble wrap to prevent leaks during shipping. Tape the plastic securely and ensure it covers the entire toner cartridge.

Place the toner in the same box that contained the replacement toner. Use a box similar in size to the cartridge if you no longer have the replacement toner box. If you must use a larger box, add foam blocks or foam peanuts to prevent the toner from shifting during shipment.

Tape the box securely with packing tape. Tape the shipping label to the top. Contact the shipper for a pickup, or drop the package off at a nearby shipping location.

Contact your local library to determine whether it participates in a toner recycling program. Many libraries accept printer and copier toner for recycling. They use the money made from the recycling to fund their projects.

Things You'll Need

  • Toner cartridge
  • Prepaid return label
  • Packing tape
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About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.