With lots of media discussion circulating about environmentalism, climate change, and reusable straws, you might be aware of the consequences of your carbon footprint more than ever. However, it’s less likely that you’ve given much thought to one disturbing statistic: there are over 350 million ink and toner printer cartridges in American landfills right now, many of which will never be recycled.
The great news is that millennials, the largest cohort in the workforce right now, and their younger counterparts in Gen Z, are very environmentally conscious. They’re collectively taking action to eliminate their negative actions on the environment and making small steps to improving the state of the world.
If you are a student, an employee at a startup, or a small business owner, consider how you can exert your influence in a small way by simply recycling your old printer cartridges. Here are four surprisingly easy ways to do just that.
Find a Local Recycling Facility
The neighbourhood big box store might not always accept your empty ink cartridges, but if you still want to avoid seeing them get dumped in a landfill, check out a recycling app called iRecycle. It provides you with hyperlocal information about where to drop off your recyclable material, including ink cartridges.
This app is particularly useful because it enables you to type in different materials and prioritize only locations that will accept your old printer cartridges. As a bonus, if you find a location that accepts a few different materials, you can dispose of other recyclables all in one fell swoop.
Drop Them Off at Your Local Office Supply Store
Office supply retailers are often very excited to receive used ink cartridges. After all, plenty of small businesses are prioritizing the environment, too—and they’re capable of using them. How? By remanufacturing or “refurbishing” them, and selling them at marked-down prices.
If you’re not sure if yours does, feel free to shoot them an email or DM on Instagram. They will more than likely be willing to accept your cartridges. Most will in a heartbeat, and if you tag them on their socials, they might even give you a shoutout—or a discount on other products.
Use Ink Printer Cartridges Refill Kits
If you’re strapped for cash or simply want to keep a good thing going for longer, you can refill and reuse cartridges—within reason. Typically, you can only refill an original brand ink cartridge once, but every small effort helps.
Refill kits typically include the ink, a syringe, a screw tool, and plastic gloves. If you’ve never used one before, be sure to read the attached instructions and inject the appropriate ink level into the cartridge. Don’t go over its capacity.