There are plenty of local and nationwide services that recycle empty cartridges, and we've put together this guide to help find the best solution for you.
If you have full & unused cartridges still sealed in their packaging, that are genuine original versions from the printer's manufacturer, do not recycle them — send them to CartridgeForest who plant 2 trees with partner Trees for the Future for every unused cartridge they can reuse:
If you have at least 5 cartridges you can use Staples Rewards' collection program, which will give you a UPS ground shipping label to use. First sign in or register for a Staples Rewards account:
Then visit this page, add your shipping address to your account, and request a label:
You can drop your package at any UPS shop or access point, or you can wait and hand it to any UPS driver making another pickup or delivery.
Find an electronics recycling point near you that takes empty cartridges on the Earth911 web site. Just enter your ZIP code in the 'ZIP CODE' field and press 'SEARCH'.
Remember to call ahead to check opening times and any restrictions — there may be changes due to COVID.
Staples, Best Buy, Office Depot, OfficeMax and other office supplies stores all take empty cartridges in-store for recycling.
Some will offer you a discount on the purchase of toners when you bring in your empties, but beware that their prices may be overinflated on these products before the discount anyway.
Most cartridge manufacturers have free US-based take-back schemes — shipping and disposal costs are paid for by them — that will accept cartridges that they manufactured in order to reuse them, or break down the materials for recycling.
If you encounter any issues using these services, it's worth considering local drop-off options at any local office supply stores that will likely be free and easier for you.
Epson can recycle your empty inkjet cartridges, but requires you to cover the cost of postage. They also offer a free collection programme for their AcuLaser CX11N Series cartridges.
HP have free services for their entire range of cartridges. You can drop off your empties at a retail store, print off a postage-paid label, request free collection boxes or arrange a pickup.
Lexmark offer free postage-paid labels for toner/laser cartridges, and will send you postage-paid bags to return your ink cartridges.
Canon allow return of empty toner/laser cartridges by printing off a postage-paid UPS label.
Recycle Canon toner/laser cartridges
Canon inkjet cartridges can be returned by dropping them off at one of over 1,600 FedEx Office Print & Ship Centers.
For customers wishing to make a return from Hawaii, Alaska or a U.S. Territory, please contact 1-800-OK-CANON.
Brother runs a free service to return your toner and ink cartridges through USPS using printable postage-paid labels.
N.B. You are not required to tick the box saying that Brother may contact you in the future.
Dell offers a free postal return service for their ink and toner cartridges, and pallet pickups if you have large quantities.
HP now handle the recycling of Samsung cartridges. They take back their ink and toner cartridges with pre-paid USPS labels that you can print. If you use large quantities of cartridges they can also offer free collection boxes to store your empties in.
Xerox offer free postal return for most of their cartridges, or pallet collections for larger numbers.
Konica Minolta accept returns of cartridges for some of their printers and office systems through pre-paid UPS labels that you can print online, as well as pallet collections for larger quantities. They can offer you free collection boxes to store your empty cartridges in if you have many.
Oki used to offer a free service to return cartridges by dropping them off at a return location. You will need to contact them directly to see if they can offer you this service on your contract.
Customers can request — free of charge — recycling boxes from their authorized Kyocera dealer. Fill the boxes with depleted and waste Kyocera toner containers, seal and send to our recycling facility partner, Close the Loop.
Many Ricoh cartridges come with a pre-paid shipping label for returns included in the box, which you can use to return your empty cartridge. If this isn't the case, you can download a prepaid shipping label on the web site from the instructions half-way down the page.
Neopost used to offer a free recycling service, where you paid the shipping to their recycling facility in Tennessee. The page has been taken down, but you can contact Neopost (now "Quadient") on the above page to enquire.
Panasonic do not currently seem to have a recycling option.
Get your label to return a used Pitney Bowes cartridge to the manufacturer for free.
Sharp cartridges can be recycled at any Staples store, or Sharp can send you a recycling kit with collection boxes including pre-paid shipping labels to return them free of charge.
Kodak cartridges can be returned to any Staples or Walmart store.
Toshiba provide a paid-for recycling program through their dealer network, but there are plenty of free alternatives that also take any other brands of cartridge also — look for alternatives below.
75% of empty cartridges 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 5 lbs of CO2 compared to making a new cartridge from scratch.
EveryCartridge.com is here to help you to find and use the many services that exist locally and nationally, and cut through the misinformation to ensure that your cartridges do not go to landfill.