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Green Ways To Recycle Old Printer Ink Cartridges

2010-07-16

The invention and spread of computers was predicted to mark the decrease of the use of printed paper. But instead, the spread of computers and computer printers, scanners, copiers, and fax machines has seen the use of the printed page skyrocket. Thankfully, there are many ways to use printers in environmentally friendly ways. These days businesses and individuals are becoming increasingly concerned with using resources with the aim of being sustainable and 'living green.' Printing on recycled paper is one smart way to use printers and paper environmentally, but there are many other important ways to reuse and recycle printing materials, such as by recycling ink cartridges and by refilling cartridges with new printing ink, rather than just throwing old cartridges away.

One of the most common ways to reuse printer ink cartridges is to use ink and toner refill kits. Instead of throwing away cartridges when they run out of ink or toner, cartridges can be refilled with these materials and used again and again. Not all brands of cartridges are designed to be refilled, but many companies see the environmental benefits of making their cartridges refillable. Cartridges can also be refilled by specialized shops and companies. For example, many businesses hire professionals to refill their cartridges for them due to the potential messiness of the task.

Another green way to use ink cartridges is to buy re-manufactured, reused, or refurbished cartridges. Recycled cartridge parts can be used to manufacture cartridges in a way that is less environmentally damaging than making new cartridge using only new materials. Recycled cartridges are made from parts of used cartridges that have been given or sold to a cartridge re-manufacturing company. These recycled cartridges are taken apart and the working and useful parts are used to build new cartridges. These re-manufactured ink cartridges are sold for much less than completely new cartridges, and help people and businesses reduce the size of their environmental footprint.

People interested in recycling their used ink cartridges can find many recycling companies offering to buy these at different rates, depending on the brand and model of the cartridge. A good number of these companies also offer free shipping and packaging of cartridges. Different brands of printer cartridges are recycled in different ways. To find out how your cartridges can be recycled, read the package that your cartridge was bought in or visit the website of the company that manufactured your cartridge.

However a person or businesses chooses to recycle or reuse their ink cartridges, whether by refilling them with printing ink or selling them to re-manufacturing companies, there are always two main benefits: money is saved and the environment is better cared for.

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