Empty Printer Cartridges
Every year just under 400 million empty printer cartridges are thrown in the bin and end up on landfill sites. Its also estimated that with the large amount of recycling schemes available around the world only a tiny 5% of printer cartridges are actually recycled, the other 95% are thrown away. The big problem is that ink cartridges contain dangerous plastics that can take over 500 years to decompose at landfill sites so end up causing pollution. By recycling your old Ink jet cartridges you can do your bit for the environment and also earn a bit of extra cash at the same time.
The Environmental Issues
Inkjets are the most popular printers and as such are used in many households around the world. The reason for their popularity is due to them being the cheapest and offering the best value for money. As they are so popular many millions of cartridges have to be purchased to keep the ink in the printers filled up.
Every year in the UK alone just over 65 million empty printer cartridges are being thrown away and are ending up at landfill sites. It’s estimated that even with the large amount of recycling schemes that are currently available only 15% are ever getting recycled, the other 85% are still being thrown straight into the bin.
The biggest issue is that ink cartridges are made up of engineering grade polymer plastic.This can take as much as 1000 years to fully decompose at landfill where they will cause much damage to the environment.
Recycle Inkjet Printer Cartridges for Cash
By recycling your old cartridges not only can you can do your bit for the environment but you will also earn a bit of extra cash at the same time.
The main brands that can be sent in to be recycled include Epson, Brother, Canon, Apple, Dell, HP, Lexmark, Neopost, BT, Samsung and Xerox. If you have some from another manufacturer there is still a possibility they will be accepted, check on the websites below for more details.
Cash for Cartridges – This site offers to pay up to £4.50 for your empty cartridges. To start selling simply fill in the form on their site to create an account, check their price list to see if your item will be accepted and send it in using their freepost address. (If the weight of your envelope is over 2kg then you can request a free courier) You need to accumulate £25 in your account before your payment will be sent, if you don’t manage that much in your first month then it will be rolled over to the next.
Green Tech – Green Tech have been collecting and recycling ink cartridges for over 10 years so are extremely experienced in the industry. They offer great rates of up to as much as £12 per used printer cartridge or empty drum unit that you can send in to them. They will give you an instant quote online, payment by bank transfer within 14 days and free courier collection if you have over £20 worth. (Under £20 collection costs £5.95) They also offer a phone number for schools and other businesses that want to use their bulk collection service.
Empties Express – Empties Express is different other online recyclers as they will pay you in days rather than weeks, there is no minimum amount and your money is sent directly to your Paypal account. All you need to do is put your empties in your own envelope and send them to the freepost address list on their site. Once they have been received your money will be paid. They currently accept Canon, HP and Lexmark cartridges.
Office Green – Office Green have a huge list of inkjet and toner cartridges that they will buy off you in exchange for points. As long as you have 10 to sell you can request a free courier and send them in. If any you send are not on their price list then they will be recycled correctly but you will not be paid. Once they have been received a statement will be sent out to you and a points claim form. At this time 1 point = £1, you will get 0.75 points for each toner cartridge and 0.35 points for the inkjets. Once you have the equivalent of £10 in points you can redeem them and your payment will be sent in either gift vouchers, sent to charity or via cheque/BACS.
Money4urMobile – This is one of the UK’s biggest gadget recycling sites. They will recycle inkjet cartridges but will no longer pay cash to you for them. The funds raised from any that are sent in will be donated to charity.
Infotone – They pay between 50p – £5 for each new or used printer cartridge that you send to them. You can mix and match any items from different brands including Epson, Brother, Canon, Dell or HP. As long as you send a minimum of 5 you will get a free courier collection. Simply fill in the form on their website to get started, a free courier will collect your goods and your payment will be processed by M&S voucher, a credit on your account, a donation to charity or a cheque.
Ink Save – Inksave offer cash for your empties ranging from 10p – £1.25 each. To get started request a freepost envelope, sent in your items and payment will be sent by cheque as long as you have sent over £5 worth.
Virgin and Non-Virgin
The term virgin is used to describe original branded cartridges. Non-Virgin are non branded or have already been refilled in the past so you will receive a lower amount of money for these.
Facts and Figures
- More than 65 million printer cartridges are dumped every year in the UK, thats the equivalent weight of 36 whales
- It would be possible to refill some printer cartridges as much as 15 times before they reach the end of their life. The average amount is 5 – 7 refills, most are used only once.
- Once they are at landfill inkjet and toner cartridges will take as long as 1000 years to fully decompose
- As much as 3 pints of oil is used to manufacture a toner cartridge and 100 ml in an inkjet one.
- It costs more to make printer ink than it does to make space shuttle fuel
- Refilled cartridges cost as little as 30% – 65% less than brand new ones
- In 2008 HP reported that 13 million pounds of recycled plastic was used to make their new cartridges. This meant that as much as 320 truckloads was diverted from landfill.
- In an average year if the whole world’s discarded printer cartridges were put end to end they would circle the earth 3 times