How and Why Your Small Business Should Be Recycling Ink Cartridges

How and Why Your Small Business Should Be Recycling Ink Cartridges

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If you do any printing at your small business, then you likely have some old ink cartridges lying around. In some cases, you may be able to refill those cartridges a couple of times to get the most out of them. But it’s possible that refilling cartridges can have a negative impact on print quality. Luckily, there’s another option.

Whether you choose to refill your old ink cartridges or not, you can (and should) recycle them as well. There are a few different ways you can go about doing this. And there are also several potential benefits for your business. Read on for more about how and why you should recycle all those old ink cartridges at your office.

Benefits of Recycling Ink Cartridges

Get Money Back

In some cases, you can get money in exchange for your old ink cartridges. Sites like eCycle Group let you send in your own cartridge and will issue payments to you at the end of each month based on the items you send.

Prices from eCycle Group range from $1 to $15 for various cartridge models. But even those small contributions can make a big difference for your business over time, especially if you print large volumes and tend to go through a lot of cartridges.

Donate to Charity

Additionally, there are some services that you can use to donate the proceeds from your recycling efforts to charity. For example, Recycle4Charity lets you send in your old cartridges, toner and even old cell phones in exchange for charitable donations to various organizations.

More specifically, Recycle4Charity lets you choose causes like environmentalism, healthcare, poverty and education and makes sure that your donation goes toward that area. You can also use the program to raise money for events or larger office purchases. This program is reserved mainly for larger donations of ink cartridges and other supplies.

Lower Costs Over Time

Producing ink cartridges requires a lot of materials and energy. But it requires significantly less when the manufacturers have access to older cartridges that they can recycle into new ones.

This means that recycling can have cost saving benefits for the companies that manufacture ink cartridges. And when those companies are able to save on production, some of that savings can get passed onto the consumer. So if your business regularly purchases ink cartridges, that means you can potentially save on your own purchases over time, or at least not see costs rise as quickly as they otherwise might.

Help the Environment

And of course, recycling ink cartridges has several benefits for the environment. It results in less waste, fewer harmful materials in landfills, less energy used to produce brand new cartridge materials and more.

These things might not have a huge impact on your business right away. But based on how often your business might go through ink cartridges, it might be a pretty significant impact. For example, the HP business inkjet printer series lets you print anywhere from 880 to 2,370 pages. And less expensive models, like those you’d purchase for a home office or small team print even less. So you’re likely to go through a fair amount of cartridges each year.

And aside from the actual environmental impact, recycling things like ink cartridges can also have an impact on things like employee morale and your company’s reputation with consumers.

How to Recycle Ink Cartridges

If you don’t choose to recycle your ink cartridges using one of the methods listed above, you can still recycle them through a manufacturer. Companies like HP will accept your old ink cartridges at select retail locations or even by mail.

To take advantage of these programs, look up the manufacturer of your printer and ink cartridges and see what specific steps they want you to take. You might also find specific instructions in the box your cartridge came in. But in general, you should be prepared to either bring your cartridges to a retail location or mail them in.

Ink Cartridges Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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