It is estimated 3-4 million cartridges are sent to landfills each year in the U.S., and approximately 3 quarts of oil are used to create a new cartridge. Using remanufactured laser cartridges (and recycling spent ones) keeps unwanted plastics and metals from being dumped into America’s landfills, conserving resources and energy. In addition, the leftover toner (hazardous materials) from used cartridges is properly disposed of during the remanufacturing process.
Remanufactured cartridges generally cost about 20-50% less than Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM products. And if your equipment vendor tells you that you can’t or shouldn't’t use remanufactured cartridges, don’t be intimidated. It is illegal for your laser printer manufacture to require you to use or purchase a particular brand of cartridge. In addition, a manufacturer cannot void any warranty simply because you exercise your right to choose your preferred brand of supplies.
As for inkjet printers, not all cartridges can be remanufactured and the cost savings is not as significant as it is with laser cartridges. If no remanufactured cartridge is available for your equipment, the other economical option is to use a compatible cartridge produced by a reputable company other than the printer manufacturer.
Used cartridges, both inkjet and laser, can be taken to most office supply stores for recycling. Some stores will even give you a free ream of recycled content printer paper in exchange for your used cartridge!
There are many companies and organizations that will pay you for your used cartridges. Just do a web search for "printer cartridge recycling".
The County of Ventura does not endorse any organization or product however, we found the following recyclers online: