How to Recycle Printer Toner Cartridges

Whether you’ve come across a bunch of expired printer toner cartridges or are looking to get rid of empties, it’s not as simple as throwing them in the trash and putting a fresh cartridge into your printer. 

Instead, we encourage you to learn how to recycle printer toner cartridges here in this guide to do your part in reducing plastic waste crowding landfills! It’s not just about doing the right thing, you could even benefit financially from the right printer toner cartridge recycling program.

We’ll cover everything you need to know from where to recycle printer toner cartridges to determining which of your cartridges are good to recycle and which aren’t, how to prepare them, and more.

But before we go any further, we do want to remind you that you can also sell ink cartridges or toner cartridges that are unopened and unused for top dollar here at We pay the highest per cartridge across the industry and have created a seamless process for you. Learn more today! 

Why Should You Recycle Printer Toner Cartridges?

First things first, why should you recycle printer toner cartridges? As you can probably guess, there are environmental reasons to do this – but there are more incentives than you may have realized!

Environmental Impact

Millions of used toner cartridges are thrown away annually, ending up in landfills where they can take up to a thousand years to decompose. 

Each of these contains plastic and metal that could be reused or repurposed, along with residual toner that may contain substances harmful to the soil and groundwater. If you want to learn more about the specific concerns, read our guides covering printer ink toxicity or what is printer ink made of.

Fortunately, recycling these cartridges reduces landfill waste dramatically and lessens the demand for raw materials. You’re conserving natural resources and reducing the carbon footprint associated with producing new cartridges. 

Corporate Social Responsibility

Recycling toner cartridges goes beyond ethics for businesses – it can be a way to reflect your commitment to sustainable practices.

Companies that actively engage in recycling initiatives improve their corporate image with customers, investors, and other stakeholders who are increasingly prioritizing environmental responsibility when choosing whom to do business with. 

Adopting green practices can align companies with global sustainability standards and regulations as well, helping avoid penalties and benefit from incentives.

Economic Benefits

Chances are you can find somewhere to recycle printer toner cartridges that offer some sort of rebate. This can help you offset the replacement toner cost, improving margins in your business, no matter how subtly. 

If you’re unable to secure a rebate, you can at least find a return scheme where a company (usually the manufacturer themselves) will send you back a full cartridge at a discounted rate.

Figuring Out Where to Recycle Printer Toner Cartridges Near You

Recycling printer toner cartridges can actually be really convenient and stress-free when you find the right partner. So, where can I recycle printer toner cartridges?

Just like where to sell toner cartridges, you’ll come to a crossroads when figuring out where to recycle printer toner near you – local options and mail-in programs. Each has its pros and cons, which we’ll break down for you below to help you make the right choice.

Local Options

Local options are great because you don’t have to deal with the hassle of packaging anything up, printing a shipping label, and taking it to the post office. You can simply head to the destination and be done with it. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Retailers and Office Supply Stores: Stores like Staples, Office Depot, and Best Buy often provide drop-off bins where you can leave your used cartridges. Some retailers even offer incentives such as discounts on future purchases or store credit as a thank-you for recycling.
  • Local Waste Management Facilities: Your city’s waste management department likely has a facility that accepts electronic waste, including printer cartridges. These facilities ensure that the cartridges are handled responsibly, preventing them from ending up in landfills. Check your city/county’s waste management website for specific details about e-waste recycling programs and their locations.
  • Community Recycling Events: These events are often sponsored by municipalities or environmental groups and provide an opportunity to dispose of not only toner cartridges but other types of e-waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

Mail-in Programs

In some cases, mailing in your cartridges for recycling actually is worth the extra work that goes into it. If you’re closer to a post office than a toner cartridge recycling center, this route might make sense. Here are two choices: 

  • Manufacturer Take-back Programs: Companies like HP, Canon, Epson, and Brother may provide free postage-paid mailing labels that you can print from their websites, making it easy to send back used cartridges for free.
  • Third-party Recycling Services: These companies typically offer free shipping as part of their service and sometimes provide monetary compensation or fundraising opportunities for schools and nonprofits. 

Really, figuring out where to recycle printer toner cartridges just comes down to assessing the most convenient option with the most perks for you. Whichever route you choose, though, we’ll share some quick tips on how to recycle printer toner cartridges safely below.

How to Recycle Printer Toner Cartridges

The recycling partner you end up choosing will more than likely give you specific instructions on what they do/don’t accept and how the cartridges should be prepared. That being said, here are some general insights on how to recycle printer toner cartridges.

Prepare the Cartridges

First, make sure the cartridge is actually ready to be disposed of. We have tips on how to tell if an ink cartridge is empty by looking at it

If it’s completely empty, remove it from your printer carefully and wipe it down with a dry cloth to remove any excess toner residue. This helps prevent potential spillage during transportation.

Ideally, you’d still have the original packaging to place the cartridge in. Otherwise, you can wrap it in paper to prevent toner leakage and then place it in a box. All that really matters is the cartridge is secure and won’t move during transit.

Transport Safely

Keep the cartridges away from direct sunlight and do not leave them in a hot car for a long time. Heat can cause the residual toner powder inside to clump or potentially leak.

We said it earlier, but we’ll reiterate it here – handle the box gently. Sharp jolts and bumps can cause cartridges to break open, leading to messy leaks and potential contamination.

Proper Disposal

If you’re using a local recycling center, be sure to follow specific procedures for drop-off. The facility will likely have designated bins for toner cartridges. Make sure to place yours in the correct bin to ensure they are processed correctly.

Should you decide to ship your cartridges in for shipping, the process will be as simple as printing out your shipping label, slapping it on the box, and dropping it off. In some cases the recycling partner you choose may even send you a box to pack the cartridge in.

We’ll Buy Your Unused, Unopened Printer Toner Cartridges For Cash!

In the event you have any unopened, unused cartridges, recycling isn’t the answer. You should learn how to sell toner cartridges instead, as you can convert your surplus into cash quickly and easily. The best place to start is right here at if you’re wondering what to do with unused ink cartridges.

We’ve earned the trust of hundreds of customers through our world-class customer service and of course, the highest prices, and the most stress-free process. We accept all types of printer ink as long as they’re unopened, in good condition, and OEM.

So, learn more about our toner reverse logistics program today and find out if we’re the right partner for you. You could earn up to $350/cartridge in just a few clicks!

Wrapping Up Our Guide on How and Where to Recycle Printer Toner Cartridges

That does it for our quick guide on how to recycle printer toner cartridges. Just as a reminder, though, why should you recycle printer toner cartridges? 

You help conserve natural resources, support the circular economy, and enhance your or your company’s eco-friendly image. You could even be financially incentivized to recycle!

Plus, it’s a super quick and easy process. We’ve outlined the basic steps for you in this guide, so now it’s up to you to take these insights and put them into practice. 

Our blog has additional resources like how to get printer ink off hands, how to put ink in a printer, what type of print technology uses toner, best printer for cheap ink, how to reset ink cartridge, how to fix a dry ink cartridge, ink cartridge cost, ink vs toner, and how to make printer ink last longer.

But why not take the first step right now and figure out where to recycle printer toner cartridges near you? It takes just a few clicks and you could make a huge difference in reducing the carbon footprint associated with laser printing.

Or, better yet, sell any unused toner cartridges you have to us for top dollar today, decluttering your storage area while earning cash along the way!

Get Started With

Selling your toner with is the easiest way to get cash for unused ink & toner cartridges and we pay more $ AND FASTER than anyone else in the business! To see how much your toner is worth and receive an offer, create an account and get started!Once you have an account you can sign in, view the products and the target prices
and then start submitting your offers.