How to Recycle Printer Cartridges

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How to Recycle Printer Cartridges

Each year consumers in the UK use up and throw away millions of printer cartridges. Even though they are relatively small, the immense volume of cartridges has a major impact on local landfills and on people's wallets. Rather than spending extra money on brand new cartridges to replace the empty ones, consumers can save money and help the environment by purchasing recycled cartridges. A number of companies recycle, refurbish, and refill old printer cartridges. Buyers can get the ink they need while saving money and not suffering a loss in the quality of their printing. Consumers can find recycled printer cartridges in retail stores, electronics shops, through printer manufacturers, and sellers online at sites like eBay.

Where to Recycle Printer Cartridges

Empty printer cartridges are more valuable than they seem at first glance. Consumers can recycle these cartridges or even refill cartridges at home. Many locations allow consumers to drop off empty cartridges or mail them to recycling facilities with prepaid mailers. In addition, some charities provide free collection envelopes or bags, so that they can sell the cartridges in mass to recyclers as a fundraising opportunity. Retail stores even host drop boxes where customers can drop off their empty ink cartridges when they come in to do the shopping.

Some companies even pay money for empty printer cartridges. These companies refurbish small printer cartridges and laser printer toner cartridges for business printers. Depending on the type of printer, age, and condition, cartridges can fetch varying amounts of money. Companies that purchase printer cartridges also send prepaid mailers and boxes, but they usually expect consumers to send multiple cartridges at once. Selling cartridges is a practice better suited to small businesses and those who have the space to save cartridges at home.

How Printer Cartridges are Recycled

There are many techniques for recycling printer cartridges. The oldest method is simply refilling cartridges with more ink. However, buyers can also purchase refurbished cartridges that have been taken apart and inspected. A programme is also in place to completely break down old cartridges and use the materials to create new ones.

Closed Loop Recycling

Closed Loop Recycling is a new concept that printer companies, like HP, are using to reduce the waste that ends up in landfills. This technology uses a machine that shreds and sorts the components of the printer cartridge for recycling. The Australian Green Machine is one such piece of equipment that completely breaks down and sorts the cartridges. A magnetic drum pulls out the metal pieces and then the rest is sorted, broken down, and reused. The goal is to reuse the entire cartridge, rather than it ending up in a dump.

Refurbished Cartridges

Toner cartridges are larger and more expensive. Often, it can be cost effective to refurbish and refill an empty toner cartridge to sell as a refurbished item. The recycling company takes apart the toner cartridge, examines each of the components and replaces broken parts if necessary. The company then cleans the components, puts them back together, fills them and packages them for resale. Buyers can often find refurbished cartridges for less than brand new toner cartridges, but the quality of the cartridge can vary.

Refilling Cartridges

Another option consumers have is to refill the empty cartridge with ink. Many companies do this with used cartridges and sell them at a lesser cost than new cartridges. There are even ink refill kits available for people to use at home to refill their old printer cartridges. This is the most affordable option, but refilled cartridges can sometimes have quality issues, such as leaking or poor print results. Home refill kits may also be messy and time consuming to use. However, this can be a good option for those who have a lot of personal printing needs and do not require professional looking results.

How to Buy Recycled Printer Cartridges

You can purchase recycled printer cartridges on eBay from a variety of sellers. Anytime you use eBay to purchase ink, check the seller's history to confirm that previous customers are happy with the transaction and their purchase. You can find both refurbished and refilled cartridges through the search engine or using the "condition" refinement on eBay's product listing pages. Buyers can also use the refinements menu to look for ink by price, brand, printer type, and more. You can also use this search engine, available from any page on the site, to find ink made from recycled materials. Deciding to purchase recycled printer cartridges can save you money and helps keep waste from entering the landfills.

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