Ink cartridges are made of substances that consume a lot of energy and raw materials that decompose slowly. Even if a single cartridge only slightly affects the planet, when we add up all the cartridges, it becomes a mess. The recycling of the ink cartridges used during our lifetime contributes substantially to a cleaner earth. That’s why you need to know how to recycle old printer cartridges and why it is essential.
Here, in the next few paragraphs, we are going to discuss how to recycle old printer cartridges.
Old Printers and Environment
With the increasing number of printers, recycling cartridges is more critical than ever. Generally, these printer accessories consist of the body and the print head. However, some models can be purchased without the latter, if the cartridge and printhead are designed to be used separately. Thus, the purchase price is lower.
When we don’t recycle an ink cartridge, the manufacturer buys new materials instead of using the old ones. Each cartridge contains plastic and metals made from natural resources in limited quantities. Plastic is produced from petroleum, while metals, such as copper and aluminum, are extracted and refined.
So, when the manufacturer produces a new cartridge from new materials, more natural resources have to be extracted from the earth. For 100,000 cartridges, producers use about 5 tonnes more aluminum, 40 tonnes plastic more.
Why Is It Important to Recycle Old Printers?
When we throw an ink cartridge in our trash, it usually ends in a landfill or an incinerator. The plastic in the ink cartridges decays very slowly and can take up to 1000 years to decompose.
The ink left in the cartridge escapes and pollutes the immediate surroundings. So, it creates pollution in both directions.
Americans use around 400 million cartridges each year. As the burnt plastic from incinerated cartridges causes air pollution and contributes to smog, this country is in horrible shape.
Therefore, the metals which form part of the cartridges leave a residue which must be stored mainly in landfills. Without this security measure, our planet would be much more in danger than it already is.
How to Recycle Old Printer Cartridges?
By adopting green options, recycling our printer cartridges can quickly become a good habit. By making a collective effort to be aware that we must recycle this accessory, we can significantly improve the state of our planet.
- Drop Them Off at An Office Supply Store
Several office supply retailers can take back your used cartridges. You can search the Internet to find out if there is a store specializing in this area not far from you. By checking store websites, you will know if they accept used ink cartridges.
- Consider Recycling Your Original Brand Ink Cartridges
If you have an original brand ink cartridge that you have used only once, chances are you can refill and reuse that cartridge with the right ink refill kit. Most refill kits include an ink bottle, syringe, screw tool, plastic gloves, and a refill instruction manual.
- Let’s Start to Refill the Cartridge
To reload, you will need to inject the appropriate level of ink into the cartridge manually. Once the cartridge is full, you should be able to reuse the cartridge and print as expected. Make sure that the refill kit you purchased is for your specific cartridge series.
Make sure that the refill instructions and the ink capacities are well executed, as this varies depending on the brand and type of cartridge. Please note that ink cartridges can only be refilled a certain number of times. As we go along, we will see that our prints will start to decrease in quality, and we will have to buy a new brand ink cartridge.
- Resell Your Empty Cartridges Online
Some companies do offer the purchase of empty cartridges. The primary advantage is financial for you. But you also ensure proper recycling of your cartridges by professionals in the trade.
How to Save Ink and Reduce Our Consumption of Cartridges?
Saving ink is both a right solution for reducing costs and also an ecological decision. There are a large number of ways in which a frequent ink user can significantly reduce their ink consumption.
- Adjust Your Printer:
We can start by using DRAFT mode on the printer. When we select the usual method, the printer makes many passes and uses several layers of ink on the bold characters.
Laser printers have a resolution setting that has the same functionality as an inkjet draft mode. At lower resolutions, the number of toner particles used to create an image decreases significantly.
This fades the image but makes it even more apparent, more distinct and visible while reducing the toner used. At 300 DPI, for example, toner is faster and uses less toner than 600-1200 DPI.
Color cartridges are always more expensive than monochrome cartridges. Therefore, it is best to save them for color prints only.
- Change Font:
The font has great importance as for the quantity of ink used for printing as well as the state of the toner. Specific fonts would have very marked ones that would dry the toners of the printer. Garamond would, therefore, be the most conservative policy!
We hope you get a better idea of why and how to recycle old printer cartridges. We all have to do every little part we can to save this planet.