Recycling Compatible Ink Cartridges

Compatible ink cartridges are the smaller (than a clenched fist) cartridges that have already been refilled at least once, or made by a company other than the manufacturer of your printer.

If your empty cartridges are not compatible ink cartridges, try our main empty cartridge recycling guide instead.

If you have any full or unused cartridges, try our full cartridge guide instead.

Compatible ink cartridges are often harder to dispose of as they have less commercial value than the original cartridges made by the printer manufacturer, because they are more likely to fail if refilled.

However, don't bin them! There are plenty of local and nationwide services that recycle, or better yet, reuse your empty cartridges, and we've put together this guide to help you find the solution for you.

Free Ink Cartridge Reuse Options

If your inkjet cartridges are not eligible for reuse to raise funds for a good cause, here are the best reuse options, which will ensure the least impact on the environment.

Local Refilling: Cartridge Shops

There are cartridge refill shops on many high streets. You can leave your empty cartridge for free recycling, or pay to have it refilled cheaply.

Reuse is better than recycling
Convenient, and refills available
No charitable benefit

Find a Cartridge Refill Shop

Local Drop-Offs

There are likely shops or amenity sites with cartridge collection boxes near you, and most of these will take any type of cartridge for free.

Free local drop off
Cartridges may be reused
Normally no charitable benefit

Find A Local Drop-Off Recycling Point

Return to Manufacturer

Get in touch with your cartridge's manufacturer (not the printer manufacturer) to ask if they offer a free recycling scheme for their customers.

Convenient solution
Cartridges may be reused
No charitable benefit

Return to Supplier or Retailer

Ask your supplier or retailer if they can take back your empties as a courtesy to you as their customer.

Convenient solution
Cartridges may be reused
No charitable benefit

Why Recycle Empty Cartridges?

75% of empty cartridges in the UK are not recycled even though there are plenty of reuse and recycling options, and many of them are free and easy to use.

A typical cartridge, with its plastics and electronics, will take up to 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill site, but having an empty cartridge reused saves up to 2.5kg of CO2 compared to making a new cartridge from scratch. is here to help you to find and use the many services that exist locally and nationwide, and cut through the misinformation to ensure that your cartridges do not go to landfill.

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