Printer Cartridges


Printer cartridges are e-waste that can be disposed of through the County Household Hazardous Waste Program.

Participate in a Takeback Program

Companies like Samsung, Staples, Xerox, and HP offer free takeback/recycling programs for your used printer cartridges.

Ways to Reduce

Buy Printers That Use Cartridge-Free Ink

Some companies, like Xerox, now make printers that use cartridge-free solid ink, which creates up to 90% less waste and uses 30% less energy than the cartridge using alternatives.

Leave Your Inkjet Printer On

Leaving your printer on at all times will avoid starting an ink-wasting maintenance cycle. According to an interview Canon did with Consumer Reports, if you turn the printer off “it may do a longer clean.” Even though they are consuming energy when on, inkjets consume very little power when they’re not being used.

Print in Draft Mode

If you’re not working on something important, print in draft mode, which reduces the amount of ink that gets used.

Avoid Large Photos

Large photos, especially those printed in high-quality mode, use up the most ink, so refrain from printing them out whenever possible.

Choose Laser Printers for B&W

It’s a good idea to use a laser printer for black and white printing jobs since laser printers don’t use maintenance ink and are great at printing out text.

Ways to Reuse

Refill at Costco

Inkjet411 is a refilling service which operates through stores like Costco and Fry’s Electronics.

Do Your Own Re-fills

Instead of buying new printer cartridges, refill your old ones. If you want to do it yourself, just buy an ink refill kit at an office supply store, and follow these instructions.

Did You Know?

The Cheaper the Printer, the More Expensive the Ink

It’s no secret that while you can get a printer for really cheap, the ink is really expensive, and it’s nearly impossible to get away with using an “unofficial” printer cartridge. This is no accident: printer companies like HP have argued that it’s costly for them to research and develop the ink. Consumer Reports and eBay have great articles on how to save money and buy eco-friendly printers, respectively.

Your Printer May Be Wasting Ink