Recycle Empty Ink Cartriges for Cash – Ink and Toner Recycling is Big Business
I’ll bet if you look around the home or office you will find a few empty ink or toner cartridges. It’s easy to let empty printer cartridges pile up. You don’t want to trash them because you know they’ll end up in a landfill. But, refilling them is way too messy. So they slowly accumulate on your desk or in a drawer, adding to the clutter. Some day soon, you will get around to doing something about it – soon. The good news? You can actually get paid to dispose of your empty ink or toner cartridges AND be environmentally friendly at the same time. Recycle ink cartridges for cash!
Almost 400 million ink cartridges get tossed onto landfills each year worldwide. That adds up quickly, to more than a million cartridges a day. A good amount of this waste is completely unnecessary. Printer ink cartridges are built to be easily reused. Taking a couple extra steps can help minimize waste, shrink your carbon footprint, and help boost your bottom line. Why throw away your empty ink cartridges when you can recycle them and get paid for it when you do? Recycling used printer cartridges helps you not only minimize waste, but contributes valuable components to be reused and refilled. Recycled ink and toner cartridges are a tested and true way to save money on your home or office printing. How do you get started?
More than 500 million new printer cartridges are sold each year in the United States alone. Ink and toner cartridges are both recyclable and reusable. Clearly, there are options available that are both eco-friendly and potentially profitable. That sure beats just tossing them out, right? There are two main choices for keeping printer cartridges out of landfills. You can turn them over for recycling, or you can refill them yourself.
What types of cartridges can be recycled?
The good news is that no matter what kind of ink or toner cartridges you have, or how old they might be, someone will take them and be willing to pay you for the privilege. Some recyclers will only accept certain brands or types, meaning you might have to separate expended inkjet and laser cartridges, or carry or send your old Canon, Epson, Dell, IBM or HP cartridges to different locations. But with some quick research online, or a few phone calls, you should have little difficulty finding recyclers who will accept whatever you have to send them.
6 Ways to Make Money From Ink Cartridge Recycling
There are a number of companies with the systems in place to recycle or reuse your empty ink or toner cartridges. Some recyclers will accept cartridges in person, while others request shipments through the mail.
Here are half-a-dozen methods for earning money with empty ink and printer cartridges. Which choice makes the most dollars and sense? Read on to find out…
1 – Sell Used Ink and Printer Cartridges on eBay
There are many links on eBay selling new or recycled ink and toner cartridges. Did know that you can sell empty ones there as well? The demand for empty ink cartridges is surprisingly high. If you choose to list them on eBay you will have interested buyers. Instead of trying to guess the market, you might want to leave your listings open for bidding. You can established a minimum price based on what others are getting for similar products. With empty ink cartridges in particular, you should try to collect and sell them in lots of maybe 10 or more. Most bidders won’t bother with sellers who list these small items individually. Laser cartridges last longer than ink cartridges. That makes them more valuable, so keep that in mind when checking out competition and prices for similar items.
You’ll likely average less than five dollars each when you sell empty inkjet cartridges. But, you might get up to $20 each or more for laser cartridges that are lightly used and in good condition. To achieve the best results, your eBay listing should be as detailed as possible, including information about the manufacturer, model and color, and whether your cartridges have ever been refilled by you or anyone else. If they have not been refilled you can list them as “virgin,” which should greatly increase buyer interest. Greentumble.com
“I’ve sold empty inkjet cartridges from my HP home printer through the site twice. The first time, I made $24.99 for six empty cartridges, and the second time I sold five cartridges for $34. Selling multiple cartridges at once, known as selling in lots, helps save you time and makes your listing more attractive to buyers. Make sure your listings stand out by including details. Note the manufacturer, model numbers and whether the cartridges are black, color or a combination of the two. Add a picture of your cartridges as well. You don’t have to be Ansel Adams, but clearly show what you have to sell.”
2 – Recycle Ink Cartridges at an Office Supply Store
There are at least five large retail chains—Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, OfficeMax and Office Depot—that are authorized to collect and recycle used ink or toner cartridges (although not always both) produced by major manufacturers. In return for your used cartridges, you’ll receive store credits of approximately $2 each. These credits can be cashed in on other merchandise. Some stores have a limit to how much credit can be given per person each month. For example, a limit of 10 cartridge credits per month at Office Depot and Staples. Others may require that you spend a certain amount of money at their business first. Or, you may have to enroll in their customer reward programs in order to be eligible for these types of credits. If you recycle cartridges frequently, it will likely be in your best interest to sign up.
“Office-supply stores like OfficeDepot and Staples will recycle ink cartridges and even have ink cartridge recycling reward programs. These stores will give you $2 in store credit for each qualifying cartridge that you turn in, up to a maximum of 10 empty cartridges per month. To participate, you must be a member of their customer reward programs and make qualifying purchases. But if you regularly shop at either store, this could be a good solution for you. It’s also worth checking out your local mom-and-pop office-supply store to see if it has a similar program.”
3 – Recycle Ink Cartridges Through a Buy-Back Site
Several websites offer to buy back your empty cartridges, and most also pay for the shipping costs. Sites like Evolve Recycling, Recycle 4 Charity and Dazz Cycle pay fair market value for expended toner and/or ink cartridges. You can send them through the mail or by FedEx or UPS. Just check their websites first for instructions.
How Buy-back Sites Work
Depending on the age and condition of your cartridges, these companies will likely pay you three or four dollars each for used ink cartridges, They can pay $20 or more for used toner cartridges. The prices they pay for specific items will all be listed on their websites.
The process is simple. Once you have located your printer cartridges on their list, fill in the number of cartridges you are returning and calculate the amount due. Be sure to fill in your contact information and preferred method of payment. Typically, they send a prepaid shipping label to cover your shipping costs. You get your payment once the products arrive and are inspected.
Be sure that you check each site before you ship off your cartridges. You should determine which ones each company will accept and which ones they won’t. Many recycling companies will only pay for the ones that they accept. Some even charge penalty fees for those cartridges that they don’t accept.
4 – Community Recycling Centers
The nonprofit environmental organization Earth911 maintains an extensive database that essentially lists all recycling facilities available in the United States. Many of these community sites will accept your old ink or toner cartridges and offer payments in return. You can access the Earth911 database online, or you can call their toll-free hotline at 1-800-CLEANUP.
5 – Community Fundraising
There are organizations that will recycle empty ink and toner cartridges while helping you raise money for your community. For example, Funding Factory is an eco-friendly and simple solution for your used toner and inkjet printer cartridges. FundingFactory was founded in 1997. They have helped keep over 43.3 million pounds of items out of landfills, simply by collecting used toner and inkjet printer cartridges. Their mission is to recycle and remanufacture used toner and inkjet printer cartridges. This gives items a second life helping the environment, while providing a simple way for organizations to earn money.
FundingFactory turns your used toner and inkjet cartridges into cash to fund your organization. With FundingFactory’s 100% free fundraising program and the help of your community, your organization can earn much-needed funds in no time.
“Over 136,735 organizations have collectively earned more than $33.5 million in cash and rewards through the FundingFactory program. Our 100% free program can help your group earn much-needed funds for new technology, equipment, or other vital items. Register today and help make a difference for your organization and the environment! Our parent company, Clover Technologies Group is proudly the world’s largest collector and recycler of cell phones, toner and inkjet printer cartridges. Clover is the global leader in providing resellers, mass merchants and value-added specialty suppliers with total environmental solutions including the recycling and remanufacturing of consumable imaging supplies.”
6 – Refill Them Yourself & Reuse for Big Savings
Almost all inkjet and laser cartridges can be refilled. Often, this can be done several times before they are no longer suitable for that purpose.
If you choose to try this yourself, easy-to-use refill kits are widely available. Some retailers, like Walgreens and Costco, will actually do it for you if you bring your empty cartridges in and request that service.
The process can be a bit messy if you aren’t careful. With a little practice, you will become a pro, and save a bunch of money evry time you refill yourself. There are huge savings for you on cartridges when you refill them and reuse them instead of repeatedly purchasing them new. In the end, you wil still be recycling and doing it for a tidy savings.
Which Option is the Best?
Each option has its advantages. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of each method:
- Returning cartridges to an office supply store is convenient enough. But, it involves a trip to the store and receiving a store credit instead of cash.
- Selling through a buy-back site avoids those things, but will require waiting for the check.
- Selling empty ink cartridges on eBay is pretty straightforward, if you already familiar with the process. Also, once the transaction is complete, you can quickly access the money in your PayPal account.
- Recycling ink cartridges by filling them yourself is a great option. The process can be a bit messy, but this can be quickly overcome with a little care and experience. Refill kits are available and the cost savings can be significant