How to Recycle Toner Cartridges Free

by Pat Smith

Toner cartridges are filled with powder that work in laser printers. The cartridges themselves are made primarily out of plastic, which is often recyclable. There are other components, however, such as metal, which means that the cartridge can't just be tossed in a recycling bin. Throwing them out to be deposited in a landfill can have a negative impact on the environment, so most cartridge companies have created their own recycling programs to reuse the entire toner cartridge. There are also independent groups that recycle cartridges, sometimes for free.

Sort toner cartridges by manufacturers. Look on the packaging, or call the manufacturer about a recycling program. Many of the programs are free and offer a prepaid shipping label.

Follow the instructions on the manufacturer's website if it offers free recycling. Type in your name and address on their recycling page for a free shipping label, which you can either print or have mailed to you.

Order a free shipping label from Recycling Place (see Resources) to recycle any toner cartridge for free. Click "Register" and enter your shipping information. You can't print directly from the site -- Recycle Place only mails the labels.

Place each toner in a separate plastic bag to prevent any toner from leaking during mailing. Put the toner either in a box or mailing envelope, depending on the size of the cartridge. Attach the shipping label and put it in the mail.

Drop off any cartridges without manufacturer programs at a store with a free recycling program. Alternately, if you have many cartridges and want to take them all to one place, take them to a store, though they may not be recycled quite as thoroughly. Staples, Office Depot and Dell all offer free recycling for toner cartridges.

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  • photo_camera a blue recycle symbol image by wayne ruston from Fotolia.com